The High Plains Society
Applied Anthropology


Inequitable Partners in Collaborative Research: Reflections on Community-Based Participatory Research

Jessica W. Blanchard

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) promotes the idea that collaborative partnerships enable more equitable opportunities for community engagement, and more prominent roles for community partners in the ownership and control of project outcomes. The University of Oklahoma Community Networks Program (OUCNP) is a community-based participatory effort to reduce cancer health disparities in Native American and African American populations, and has created collaborative partnerships among diverse community partners including the historically All-Black towns of Oklahoma and two Oklahoma tribal nations. There are striking dissimilarities in collaborative capabilities among the community partners on this project. This article explores the implications of conducting CBPR projects with inequitable community partners, and how such partnerships are only truly collaborative once the infrastructural disparities that emerge within and among community partners are addressed.

The Applied Anthropologist, No. 2, Vol. 31, 2011, pp 29 - 36

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