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Community-Based Participatory Approaches

A Community-Based Participatory Approach (CBPA) to promoting health is recognized as a critical strategy in addressing health inequities among socially disadvantaged and marginalized communities. From the beginning of a CBPA project, community members are invited to share decision-making authority with all other partners involved.

According to Barbara A. Israel, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health – University of Michigan, CBPA is based on principles that include:

  • Recognizing the community as a unit of identity
  • Building on collective strengths and shared resources
  • Facilitating partnership and capacity building throughout the process
  • Disseminating pertinent information, data and other findings to all participants
  • Involving a long-term process and commitment
  • Seeking balance between research and action

It is important to engage the most trusted members of the community, “gatekeepers,” right from the beginning of the project to ensure the promotion of an intervention. By empowering community leaders through the CBPA, the entire community can help steer the project towards goal achievement.

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Last Updated: 03-27-2014

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