Listen to researchers Nadia Barhoum and Eli Moore explain the Haas Institute's approach to Community-Engaged Research.
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Nadia Barhoum: My name is Nadia Barhoum. I'm a researcher at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society.
Eli Moore: My name is Eli Moore, I'm a Program Manager at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, and we're going to break down community-engaged research. Community-engaged research doesn't just set out to produce new information, it sets out to also build the power of the communities that have historically been excluded from policy and planning. What's keeping us from policy change that really addresses inequality and exclusion is not necessarily a lack of knowledge, but a lack of the power of the communities who are suffering under those inequalities to change the policy itself.
Nadia Barhoum: Community members and community organizations are oftentimes so spread thin, they don't always necessarily have the capacity to do the kind of research that is needed in order to create some kind of leverage for their needs. What we do is work with community members, find out what those priorities are, and provide support.
Eli Moore: Some of the big questions involved in community engage research are who is participating in the research and how is the research accountable to them, or how are they meaningfully participating in the decisions that shape the research. Another big question to ask in community-engaged research is how does the research process build the capacity or build the power of the communities who are participating in it. And lastly, a big question is how is the process going to impact policy and institutions and conditions on the ground?
Nadia Barhoum: Oftentimes people come in and they reinvent the wheel in places where work is already being done on those issues. So, learning more about the issue first and foremost, and then connecting with institutes, such as the Haas Institute, and the local community-based organizations to learn about how they can support that type of work.
Eli Moore: I think the most important thing to remember about community-engaged research is that it really improves the research itself. It contributes knowledge that often wouldn't otherwise be there and so it creates more nuanced and accurate, relevant findings.
Nadia Barhoum: I think if more people really thought about research that is rooted in community engagement, there would be a much greater level of connection and understanding of the kind of suffering that people are undergoing. The more that you can get on the ground and learn from those who are most impacted by societal conditions that we face today, I think the more that we can advance change that is actually for the betterment of all people.