Projects & Programs


CBPR Project: Research for Improved Health

NARCH Research Partnership

Research for Improved Health (RIH): A National Study of Community-Academic Partnerships” (U26IHS300009) funded through the Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH V), National Institutes for Health (NIH) & Indian Health Service (2009-2013). This project was an in-depth investigation of promoters and barriers to Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) in American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) communities and ethnic/racial minority and other communities which face health disparities in order to improve health status and health equity.  This research project invited the participation of CBPR projects from all NIH Institutes and Centers to participate in a national study design to test a CBPR Conceptual Model; and strengthen the knowledge of the added value of partnering processes for improving CBPR capacity, system changes, and health equity outcomes.

Data analysis is in process in order to disseminate:

–validated metrics/measures of community engagement
–promising partnership practices
–associations between processes and outcomes.


The NARCH research partnership had the following partners:

  • National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center (NCAIPRC) led by Dr. Malia Villegas, (Alutiiq/Sugpiaq), responsible for grant leadership and the role of governance in CBPR
  • University of Washington led by Dr. Bonnie Duran, (Opelousas/Coushatta), responsible for internet survey design and implementation of two instruments sent to 300 CBPR sites.
  • University of New Mexico led by Dr. Nina Wallerstein, responsible for case study and qualitative design for seven case studies of CBPR projects.
  • A Think Tank of national community and academic CBPR and community engagement experts to provide overall guidance and feedback.

Funded initially as a pilot from 2006-2009, by the National  Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) this project received support through the NARCH/NIH/Indian Health Service mechanism from 2009-2013 with support from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Council of Research Resources, National Cancer Institute, Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities. For information about this research project, please download our Fact Sheet.

Mixed-Methods Research Design & Data Collection Instruments:

1. Qualitative Case Study Design: Diverse community-academic partnerships case studies – Total of seven partnerships. Case Study methodology included:

a. Interview Guide Data Collection Instrument (10-12 interviews per case study).

b. Focus Group Data Collection Instrument (1-2 per case study)

c. Observation of partnership meeting (community-academic processes)

d. Partner Historical Timeline (discussion of partnership  contexts over time)

e. Brief Partner Survey Instrument (15-20 per case study)


2. Quantitative Methods: Study universe identified of CBPR Projects from 2009 RePORT database (excluded: pilot, RO3, training grants); and added NARCH and Prevention Research Center core grants – Total 318 CBPR projects. Internet survey design included:

  1. Key Informant Data Collection Instrument (15 minutes: for the Principal Investigator or Program Director (PI/PD)
  2. Community Engagement Data Collection Instrument (for PI and 1 other academic; and 2-3 community partners)

Grant Accomplishments:

  1. CBPR Conceptual Model (please see below);
  2. Project Code of Ethics and Integrity; Protocols for Publications, Student Involvement, Communications
  3. Literature Review of Measurement Tools/Constructs (Sandoval et al, 2011);
  4. Interactive CBPR Model linked to instruments and to variables matrix/measures (Pearson et al, 2011);
  5. Focus Group Guide for Partnership Collective Reflection and Evaluation (PowerPoint presentation available (click here to download)
  6. CBPR Conceptual Model (Click for high resolution image)
  7. Publications (Click for list of articles published, in press, and in process)