The Manitoba Research Alliance has been doing community-based research for over 17 years, developing localized better-practices and bridging knowledge between community organizations and academia. Connecting with other community-based research organizations across Canada and to share valuable resources and programming brought us to CBRCanada.
The MRA’s projects are wide-ranging and focus on what is needed in the community, from analyses of effective community-based post-secondary programs to studying the role of labour market intermediaries for successful employment on Manitoba First Nations, from community-based harm reduction strategies to books on doing community-based research; the range is broad! The invaluable expertise that community partners bring to the table ensures that the design, approach and final products align with the needs of the community for which they are created. This also provides an array of research methods and atypical research products that we see at work in the community to advance common goals. A recent project of the MRA is the Community-Based Research Training Centre, bringing CBR skills to students and community organizations in preparation for research.
One important question we are studying for our present SSHRC grant goes beyond individual research projects and case studies, and asks: how do we achieve transformative change to reduce complex poverty? We recognize that research itself has the power to be transformative - by creating a bridge between organizations, mentoring students and young professionals, and by drilling down to understand the important questions. We also recognize that research results often sit on a shelf, not able on their own to compel decision-makers to act or systems to change. We want to study how research can lead to transformative change, how results can be used effectively by communities, NGOs, businesses and governments to achieve the changes required to end poverty in Manitoba. We plan to study this question over the next few years and invite those interested in this question to reach out to us!