Building links between community and university researchers in Participatory Action Research: Lessons for addressing ethical issues in research

Join academics and community members from across Canada for a webinar on ethical issues in participatory action research (also known as community-based participatory research). Members of our FoodARC team, one of our community partners, and MSVU’s Research Ethics Coordinator will be discussing the ethical successes and challenges around our ACT for CFS project and participatory action research in general.

When: December 9th, 2013, 2:00-3:30pm EST (3:00-4:30pm Atlantic Time)


Irena Knezevic

Bio: Recently completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship with Food Action Research Centre (FoodARC) in which she worked on the various components of the ACT for CFS project. Now that she has completed her fellowship, Irena continues to collaborate with ACT for CFS team and is involved with other FoodARC activities as a Research Associate.

Topic: Irena will provide contextual background for the ACT for CFS  ethics processes.

Shelia Bird

Bio: Population Health Promoter working for Public Health Services in rural South West Nova Scotia.  She has been working as the community liaison and contact for the ACT for CFS research project for the Eastern Shelburne County case community.

Topic: Sheila will be speaking to the community perspective around the co-development of ethics procedures and tools with university researchers and learning/challenges around this process.

Felicia Newell

Bio: Mount Saint Vincent University Graduate Student and Research Assistant with FoodARC. During the past 3 years, Felicia has done work on various projects based out of FoodARC, including ACT for CFS.

Topic: Felicia will present highlights from the ACT for CFS case study titled, ‘Activating Change Together in Nova Scotia, Canada: Learning about Ethics through Participatory Community Food Security Assessment’

Brenda Gagne

Bio: Research Ethics Coordinator at Mount Saint Vincent University and part of the review committee for ACT for CFS ethics applications.

Topic: Brenda will be providing her perspective as a university ethics coordinator. She will discuss ethical successes and concerns that have arisen for reviewers with respect to the ACT for CFS project, as well as with community-based research (CBR) in general.

Presented by CFICE (Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement) and Food Secure Canada.

See more at Food Secure Canada’s website.

Activating Change Together for Community Food Security (ACT for CFS) project is a 5 year Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) based out of Food Action Research Centre (FoodARC) at Mount Saint Vincent University.

The project utilizes participatory approaches in all aspects of research, including the development of ethics applications. Ethics applications are “proposals” that describe an intended research project and are reviewed by an independent panel to ensure the project will not be harmful or risky to participants. For ACT for CFS and related activities, ethics applications involved reviews by several panels representing universities, health authorities, school boards, and Aboriginal organizations.

As this is participatory research, there are multiple tools that need to be developed – to assist community researchers in conducting ethical and rigorous research, and to assist university researchers in conducting work embedded in community. This has proven to be a messy and long process, but also one that has made ethics more meaningful to team members in community and academic settings alike.

**It is not necessary to sign up for the webinar: Instructions for joining the webinar can be downloaded here.