Collaboration for a Healthier Community: Engaging and Empowering Youth with Research and Technology

Community Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) is a collaborative approach that democratizes how research is conducted in communities. The CBPAR framework begins with a community’s issue, proposed action, or strategy and then supports or enhances this action with research that is community based and engaged. New technologies to conduct, analyze, and share research can be leveraged to amplify community voices and work.

In 2014, Advancement Project’s Healthy City program partnered with the Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance (APIOPA) and their FRESH Space Summer Program, on a two-part community-mapping project that aimed to educate and engage high school and college youth from Historic Filipinotown around their local community conditions, especially food access issues. The youth conducted a community assessment and used online maps to visualize and share their community conditions.

Through this work, the youth developed recommendations around food access and presented their findings to their local elected official. Key recommendations included the development of a local Healthy Store Recognition program and the development of a local youth council to strengthen local youth engagement and leadership around youth-related issues.

Learn about the overall importance of CBPAR, examples of methodologies, and how to adapt for community needs to impact policy. We will share insight from the FRESH Space Summer program project in addition to how you can use maps and data visualizations, including, as tools to aid in CBPAR.

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