Community-Based Participatory Research

What is Community-Based Participatory Research?

We define community-based participatory research as a partnership approach to research that equitably involves community members, organizational representatives, and academic researchers in all aspects of the research process. It enables all partners to contribute their expertise, with shared responsibility and ownership; it enhances the understanding of a given phenomenon; and, it integrates the knowledge gained with action to improve the health and well-being of community members, such as through interventions and policy change (1)

Community-Based Participatory Research Principles

Community-Based Participatory Research is rooted in several key principles:

Principle 1

CBPR acknowledges community as a unit of identity.

Principle 2

CBPR builds on strengths and resources within the community.

Principle 3

CBPR facilitates a collaborative, equitable partnership of all phases of research, involving an empowering and power-sharing process that attends to social inequalities.

Principle 4

CBPR fosters co-learning and capacity building among all partners.

Principle 5

CBPR integrates and achieves a balance between knowledge generation and intervention for the mutual benefit of all partners.

Principle 6

CBPR focuses on the local relevance of public health problems and on ecological perspectives that attend to the multiple determinants of health.

Principle 7

CBPR involves systems development using a cyclical and iterative process.

Principle 8

CBPR disseminates results to all partners and involves them in the wider dissemination of results.

Principle 9

CBPR involves a long-term process and commitment to sustainability.(2)




For more information about community-based participatory research please see the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center


  1. Israel BA, Schulz AJ, Parker EA, Becker AB. 1998.  Review of community-based research: Assessing partnership approaches to improve health.  Annual Review of Public Health 19: 173-202.
  2. Israel, BA, Eng, E, Schulz, AJ, Parker, E. 2013. Methods for community-based participatory research for health.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishing,  (2nd ed), 8-11.

Contact CAPHE

Alison Walding
Project Manager
Community Action to Promote Healthy Environments

University of Michigan School of Public Health
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029