Barbara Osborn, Ph.D.; Evelin Montes, Director of Grantmaking and Training, Liberty Hill Foundation; and Eric Wat, Director, Research and Evaluation
Team, Special Services for Groups at the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations conference 2015
By Barbara Osborn
This post is based on a presentation originally presented in June 2015 at the Grantmakers for Effective Organization’s annual learning conference.
It's been eight years since Sandra Ball-Rokeach and I began teaching Research, Practice and Social Change. While the course isn’t formally a part of Metamorphosis, it shares similar goals, leadership and often participating students.
Research, Practice and Social Change is a graduate-level practicum that pilots short-term research partnerships with community-based organizations. The students attracted to the course tend to come from The Annenberg School For Communication and Journalism and The Price School of Public Policy. The community-based organizations are all grassroots organizations in Los Angeles working in low income communities of color. Often these community-based organizations are tiny, with a staff of one or two who are managing all organizational tasks from community organizing and political strategy to fundraising and staff and board management.
Over the years, Sandra and I have tried to distill the salient factors that make these community-university research partnerships work. Here are six factors that begin to account for the success of this model and the 35+ projects that have been developed by it. Some of the factors will probably surprise you.
Instead we are training a new generation of academic researchers who will be far more savvy about working with community organizations as they build their own university careers. Our hope is that as they develop their own research, their own courses and students, that they will contribute to a paradigm shift in how the university approaches research “in community.”
For more information about the research partnership see these previous blog posts. http://blog.libertyhill.org/2012/06/12/asking-our-own-questions/ and http://blog.libertyhill.org/2013/06/28/you-cant-win-without-data/