Doctoral Project: Building authentic partnerships


Building authentic partnerships with communities: A study of the factors influencing community participation in public and global health research in Dhaka (Bangladesh) 

Many researchers have criticized the reproduction of colonial dynamics in public and global health initiatives, often led by foreign researchers with little input from local populations. While community participation in research is identified as a promising strategy for decolonizing health research, there is little work on addressing barriers to participation before implementing research projects.  

 This doctoral project aims at improving understanding of how local experience and perceptions of community participation can support the collaborative identification of strategies to build equitable research partnerships in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

 The project uses a participatory design to contextualize a scoping review on the factors influencing community participation in the views of local stakeholders in Dhaka. Researchers, community-based organizations, and community members will contribute local perceptions through fuzzy cognitive mapping, which will be integrated with the scoping review using the ‘Weight of Evidence’ approach. Deliberative dialogue will then engage stakeholders in discussions to identify strategies to build a research partnership in Dhaka. 

 The approach could be relevant in other settings to identify the conditions and relationships necessary for fostering meaningful community participation in health research. This could contribute to building research partnerships that are more equitable, empowering, and focused on the needs of local communities.