Assessing the Outcomes of Community-University Engagement Networks in a Canadian Context
Keywords:networks, community engagement, higher education, knowledge democracy, outcomes
Inter-organizational networks are proliferating as a tool for community-university engagement (CUE). Focusing on three Canadian inter-organizational networks that bring communities and universities together, Community Based Research Canada (CBRC), the Pacific Housing Research Network (PHRN) and the Indigenous Child Well-being Research Network, this paper identifies key criteria for assessing these networks’ outcomes and highlights factors that contribute to these networks’ challenges and successes. This work is part of a growing body of scholarship seeking to better understand the role and contribution of networks in society and more specifically how the outcomes of these engagements might benefit and enhance collaborative research partnerships between civil society and higher education institutions. The results illuminate lessons learned from each of these three networks and their members. These findings inform broader research into community-university engagement networks and illustrate how these types of engagements can help build a stronger knowledge democracy in Canada and elsewhere.
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