A framework for entry: PAR values and engagement strategies in community research

Joanna Ochocka, Elin Moorlag, Rich Janzen


The purpose of this article is twofold: to explore the entry process in community-based research when researching sensitive topics; and to suggest a framework for entry that utilises the values of participatory action research (PAR). The article draws on a collaborative community-university research study that took place in the Waterloo and Toronto regions of Ontario, Canada, from 2005–2010. The article emphasises that community entry is not only about recruitment strategies for research participants or research access to community but it is also concerned with the ongoing engagement with communities during various stages of the research study. The indicator of success is a well established and trusted community-researcher relationship. This article first examines this broader understanding of entry, then looks at how community research entry can be shaped by an illustrative framework, or guide, that uses a combination of participatory action research (PAR) values and engagement strategies.

Key words: research entry, community engagement, participatory action research, mental health and cultural diversity

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