Centering Reciprocity and Accountability in Community-Based Research: How Meaningful Relationships with a Community Advisory Group Impacted Survey Development


  • Rebecca Godderis
  • Jennifer Root Wilfrid Laurier University



community advisory group, reciprocity, accountability, survey development, community-based research, gender-based violence, community advisory board


Community advisory boards (CAB) or groups (CAG) are frequently included in qualitative community-based research (CBR), particularly in the early phases of assessing need, impact, and design of a research project. Projects with emancipatory, liberatory, or decolonial emphases include CAGs in the spirit of inclusivity, representation, transformation, truth-telling, and participation, but the methodological value and impact of such groups often remains under-explored in reports about the research. It is also relatively uncommon to use CAGs in quantitative research. In our survey research about post-secondary instructors’ experiences of receiving student disclosures of gender-based violence, we used a time-limited, task-specific CAG to assist with survey development. In this report from the field, we discuss our approach to the inclusion of a CAG in our research, which emphasized reciprocity and accountability to community, and we explore how the use of a CAG directly impacted and strengthened the quantitative study. 

Author Biographies

Rebecca Godderis

(she/her), (corresponding author) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Studies and the Social Justice and Community Engagement Masters program at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research and teaching are intertwined with activism with a focus on gender and sexuality from an intersectional, anti-racist feminist perspective. 

Jennifer Root, Wilfrid Laurier University

(she/her), is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her approach to scholarship is rooted in advocacy, community-driven methods, anti-oppressive, and intersectional feminist theories. Her broader interests include women’s experiences of intimate partner violence, gender-based violence, and sexual violence.


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How to Cite

Godderis , R. ., & Root, J. (2023). Centering Reciprocity and Accountability in Community-Based Research: How Meaningful Relationships with a Community Advisory Group Impacted Survey Development. Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning, 9(1), 77–85.



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