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Creating a better future for communities through research

2008 2nd Quarter

May 02, 2008
To all our Centre friends and colleagues,

Welcome to the third volume of our E-News Letter "Community Basis". We have been greeting the long awaited Spring weather with a number of exciting new projects, community engagements, educational events, and a busy social calendar. In addition to letting you know what we have been up to, we feature an article on Enhanching the Meaningful Participation of Consumers on Mental Health Agency Boards and an interview with Brian Barlett on his experiences as a community researcher at the Centre working a baseline drug user survey in Waterloo Region. Please also have a look at our featured project section, which showcases the Somali Muslim Hate Crime Summit project.

UCP-SARnet Official Launch

On April 18th, community-based researchers, community members, academics, and government representatives attended the official launch of The University Community Partnership for Social Action Research (UCP-SARnet) at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo. CCBR is a partner in this exciting new initiative, which uses web-based networking to link students, faculty and community practitioners locally and globally to develop, conduct, share, and mobilize research knowledge on important social issues. Its global membership continues to grow.

Heather Montgomery & Lynn Randall at the Launch

Heather Montgomery & Lynn Randall at the Launch

The morning panel session examined the local landscape of community based research and partnerships. This was in part based on a local scan (led by CCBR) of social research that was collaborative, action-oriented, and embedded in community settings. The afternoon panel focused on existing and potential global linkages for community based research. The overall theme of fostering and growing local-global connections was front and centre throughout the day.

For more information on the launch and UCP-SARnet in general we encourage you to visit the project website at Their upcoming newsletters will also contain details of the launch proceedings.

New Projects

As we continue to pursue research in our diverse theme areas, CCBR has begun a number of new projects in the past few months. These projects include system level research examining interprofessional care in stroke and neurotrauma, evaluation of respite support for families with family members who have intellectual disabilities, research on health promotion and HIV prevention in three African countries, and a local needs assessment of homelessness and housing needs. Project descriptions are listed below:

Evaluation of Ryerson's Interprofessional Care and Education Program in Stroke & Neurotrauma
April 2008 - June 2009
Evaluation of Sunnybrook Stroke Unit's Continuum of Care Model
April 2008 - September 2008
In these two related projects, CCBR is conducting evaluations of interprofessional education and care (IPE/C) in the area of stroke and neurotrauma in the Greater Toronto Area. These are based on is an exciting new partnerships with Ryerson University and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. The first involves the evaluation of a new certificate program of interprofessional education being offered by distance education to a range of health professionals. The second looks at the functions and impacts of an interprofessional regional stroke team. (Project Team: Jason Newberry, Emily Christofides, and Ana Bobesiu)

Real Respite for Families
January 2008 - March 2009 With CCBR's support in a previous project, CACL developed a workshop and guide designed to help families with family members who have intellectual disabilities learn about respite as an outcome (as opposed to a service), exisiting models and approaches to respite support, and how to navigate social service systems to get the supports they need. This guide/workshop is being brought to families in 8 provinces and territories in Canada.CCBR is conducting a process and outcome evaluation of this initative. (Project Team: Jason Newberryand Yasir Dildar)

Right to Play
March 2008 - December 2008
This project is an evaluation of the CARE USA and Right to Play Canada's Live Safe Play Safe project in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Ghana. The Live Safe Play Safe project is designed as a response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Africa and focuses on a prevention education message using play-based games and activities with children and youth in the affected countries. The purpose of this evaluation is to engage all stakeholders in assessing the effectiveness of the project. (Project Team: Jonathan Lomotey and Yasir Dildar)

Region of Waterloo Housing and Homelessness
March 2008 - May 2009
CCBR is developing logic models and evaluation plans for a series of interrelated pilot projects focused on housing and homelessness in Waterloo Region. These projects are exploring innovative strategies for working with people who are chronically homeless and people in need of housing who have complex needs. (Project Team: Andrew Taylor and Emily Christofides)


It is part of our mandate at CCBR to not only conduct social research that is useful and actionable for community members and organizations, but to engage in knowledge dissemination and exchange. One of the many forums of doing this are academic and professional conferences. In the next few months, CCBR researchers will be representing our work at a number of different venues, nationally and internationally. Several of these are listed below:

Community-University Exposition (CUexpo), May 4-7, 2008
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
CCBR will be delivering presentations and participating on panels and in worshops on a range of topics, including community-university partnerships, experiences in the Community University Research Alliance, forms of social innovation, and the intersection of mental health and cultural diversity. For titles of the presentations and workshops, click here. (Presenters: Rich Janzen, Sarah Marsh, Elin Moorlag, Joanna Ochocka).

2nd International Conference on Community Psychology: "Building Participative,Empowering & Diverse Communities", June 4-6, 2008
Lisbon, Portugal

This international conference will be focusing on an array of theme areas, including community organizing, systems and policy change, evaluation, networking, and the global relationships. CCBR will be presenting our research on mental health and cultural diversity, and immigrant employment issues.
Presenters: Rich Janzen, Joanna Ochocka.

Canadian Mental Health Association, Provincial Conference,"Life Beyond Illness: The Move Toward Recovery", June 12-14, 2008
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
CMHA Saskatchewan is hosting a conference to examine and promote the concept of recovery and mental health.CCBR will co-deliver a presentation on our local evaluation of mental health systems change towards a recovery-focused community model.
Presenters: Jason Newberry and Alan Strong (Self-Help Alliance, Waterloo Region)

2008 Annual Conference of the Canadian Evaluation Society, "Sharing Heritage", May 11 to May 14
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
At this annual conference, CES is emphasizing a sharing of "evaluation heritage" and cross-displinary approaches to evaluation, nationally and internationally. CCBR will be presenting its ongoing learnings during our evaluation of systems change in the context of the
Community Inclusion initiative. Presenters: Jason Newberry and Jaime Brown

Becoming Impact Organizations: A Forum with United Ways

In April, CCBR had the pleasure of hosting representatives from eleven Ontario United Ways and the National organization. The goal of the forum was to discuss three major strategies for managing for commmunity impact: setting strategic priorities, participating in collaborative initiatives, and evaluation. The discussions were fruitful and demonstrated a significant shift in United Ways' models of social development. There is now a much greater emphasis on community development and comprehensive community initiatives as a way to address the root causes of social problems. While all United Ways remain interested in funding individual programs and agencies, there is a complementary interest in building community partnerships and initiatives to prevent long-term social ills and promote healthy outcomes for families and communities. The dialogue centred on the considerable challenges of developing, sustaining and evaluating this more expansive, community-impact work. For more information on our collaborations with United Ways, please contact Andrew Taylor at CCBR.

Staff News

The Admin Team: Kate, Michelle & Jenny

With a diversity of new projects being developed a number of new staff have come on board. We would like to welcome Ana Bobesiu, Emily Christofides, Rachel Fayter, Sarah Lord, Lawrence Martis, and Neal Smithwick to our project teams. They will provide much need help and expertise to a number of projects, including:

  • Waterloo Region Outreach Van feasibility study (Ana)

  • Ryerson-Sunnybrook Stroke Care & Team evaluations (Emily)

  • Tikanagan Family & Child Services (Sarah)

  • CURA Cultural Diversity and Mental Health initiative (Rachel & Lawrence)

    Ana Bobesiu & Sarah Lord

    Ana Bobesiu & Sarah Lord

  • Marginalized Populations and Problematic Substance Use (Neal)


We would also like to send our best wishes and luck to Shannon Cushing, who is leaving CCBR to take a new position in Ottawa. She will be greatly missed!

Featured Project

At any one time, CCBR is engaged in 20-35 community based research projects, ranging from from small, cost-effective grassroots studies to large, long-term provincial or national projects. Our project experience traverses a wide-range of content areas, including community mental health, health promotion, disability supports, cultural diversity, family support and health, immigrant skills, family violence and abuse prevention. Our team has the educational, professional, and experiential background to support many different types of projects, including process and outcome evaluation frameworks, needs assessments, epidemiological studies, community capacity building initiatives, organizational sustainability, and skills-based workshops.

In each issue of Community Basis we will profile a current project to give our readers an idea of the type of work we engage in here at CCBR.

In this issue we profile the Somali and Muslim Hate Crimes Summit project. (read more)

Featured Articles

In each volume of e-news, we present research articles, theoretical perspectives, interviews, editorials, or other written pieces related to the work we do and the social issues we are concerned with. In this issue, Jason Newberry provides a summary of the key findings in his dissertation research "Enhancing the Meaningful Participation of Consumer Members on Mental Health Agency Boards". (go to article)

In a second article, Suzanne Field interviews Brian Barlett, a community researcher at CCBR. Brian provides his personal experiences conducting interviews with local individuals who have active experience with drug use and his perspective on the importance of having community researchers involved in this type of work. (go to article)