Towards a Theory of Change for Community-based Research Projects

Rich Janzen, Joanna Ochocka, Alethea Stobbe


The purpose of this article is to present a preliminary theory of change for community-based research projects. The theory of change emerged from a Canadian Summit titled, “Pursuing Excellence in Collaborative Community-Campus Research.” The article begins by providing a rationale for why a theory of change could be helpful to advance the agenda of community-based research (i.e., concept clarification, guide to action, and quality assessment). Next we describe how our preliminary theory of change was developed, before outlining the theory of change under the headings of activities, intended outcomes, and sample indicators. We conclude by discussing what is needed in order to deepen our understanding of the theory of change for community-based research projects.


Community-based research, research quality, program theory of change

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