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Community–University Health Research Partnerships

Challenges and Concrete, Plain Language Strategies for Community Engagement in Research

Janet Page-Reeves and Lidia Regino

In recent years, there have been positive changes to the health research landscape, with increasing interest amongst community organisations and university investigators in establishing research partnerships and with more funding opportunities for community-engaged work. However, creating a community–university partnership requires new skills, new types of knowledge, and new ways of creating and maintaining relationships. On both sides of the research equation, people are looking for guidance. The discussion here uses our experience to offer concrete tips in plain language for strategies that can be used to build capacity for community–university partnerships for organisations and researchers in pre-partnership and early partnership stages. We comment on debates about epistemology and knowledge production in research and how anthropologists are well positioned to contribute to this process.

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Responsible Doubt and Embodied Conviction

The Infrastructure of British Equestrian Horse/Human ‘Partnership’

Rosie Jones McVey

Horse care practices and equestrian pedagogy are being reconfigured within a contemporary ‘revolution’ in British horsemanship. This is both instigated by, and instigates, horse owners’ attitudes of responsible doubt and self-critique. At the same time, embodied conviction is honed, because the rider’s mindful body is foregrounded as an integral part of the communication channel between horse and human. In this article, responsible doubt and embodied conviction are shown to emerge from, and contribute to, different ways in which horse riders can cut the network in their endeavours to achieve ‘true partnership’ with their horses.

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Ofra Or

This article deals with midlife heterosexual Israeli-Jewish women in living-apart-together (LAT) partnerships after a previous marriage. The main issue that this research seeks to explore is how Israeli women experience these living arrangements. The most prominent justification for this type of partnership is the need for autonomy. The drive to achieve autonomy and the ambivalence expressed toward independence and intimacy are examined in three areas of identity formation: personal, partnership, and familial. In comparison to LAT partnerships in Western Europe, in which decisions are more likely to be made without taking the future into account, most partners in Israel negotiate possible changes in their living arrangements. In familial Israel, LAT partners also involve the extended family in the relationship. As a result, in Israel, LAT partnerships engender more ambivalence toward autonomy and interdependence than in other Western countries.

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Joe Lockard and Sherry Rankins-Robertson

The essay addresses the right to education for inmates and the disappearance of postsecondary education from US prisons; prison-university educational partnerships; and the potential of online programmes toward realization of education rights for US prisoners. As practical address to these issues, the article discusses an English department initiative to provide a partnership with prisons. As a creative example of how to reach all prison populations, this essay illustrates an online writing internship between undergraduate writing majors with primarily maximum-security inmates at the Penitentiary of New Mexico. By using online technology common on university campuses in the United States and elsewhere, the project has created a prison-university bridge and educational service that can be replicated and scaled upward. Such digital work spurs new social activism within university communities.

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Theatres of virtue

Collaboration, consensus, and the social life of corporate social responsibility

Dinah Rajak

In recent years transnational corporations have become major players in the development arena. The rise of corporate social responsibility (CSR) elevates corporations as leaders in a new orthodoxy of business-led development that promotes empowerment through “the market” as the panacea for global poverty. This vision has recruited support from disparate actors, turning combatants into collaborators. This article is based on thirteen months of multisited fieldwork, tracking the performance of CSR through the circuit of conventions and policy forums that constitute the social life of CSR. I argue that by claiming the confluence of doing good business and doing good, commitment to the market logic of maximisation is not only maintained, but endowed with a moral legitimacy and celebrated as the elusive win-win solution for which the development industry continues to search.

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Ilan Peleg

For the first two decades of its existence as an organization, the Association for Israel Studies issued its semi-annual publication on its own. The mostly informational tool, Israel Studies Newsletter, and its successor, Israel Studies Bulletin (which included brief essays and book reviews), facilitated a modest link among AIS members in between their annual meetings.

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Participation, Process and Partnerships

Climate Change and Long-term Stakeholder Engagement

Carrie Furman, Wendy-Lin Bartels and Jessica Bolson

As awareness of the potential threats posed by climate change increases, researchers and agricultural advisors are being called upon to determine the risks that different stakeholder groups will likely confront and to develop adaptive strategies. Yet, engaging with stakeholders takes time. It also requires a clear and detailed plan to ensure that research and outreach activities yield useful outputs. In this article, we focus on the role of anthropologists as researchers and conveners in stakeholder engagement and provide a generalised overview of a long-term engagement process proceeding in three stages: (1) fact-finding and relationship- building; (2) incubation and collaborative learning; and (3) informed engagement and broad dissemination. We conclude with a discussion of perspectives and challenges that were encountered during two engagement experiences in the south-eastern United States.

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Patricia G. Boyer, Lorna Holtman, Carole H. Murphy and Beverley Thaver

The downturn of the global economy requires universities worldwide to do more with fewer resources. These conditions have presented an opportunity for two universities, the University of the Western Cape and the University of Missouri-St. Louis, to collaborate on a research course offered to postgraduate students. The purpose of this article is to outline the overall administration, management and structure of an innovative research programme between two countries. The aim is also to share the experiences and challenges of this research partnership, to explain how the parties involved navigated policies, to demonstrate what expertise the two educational institutions gained from the collaboration and to recount the benefits received by students and faculty from working internationally.

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Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

The following question was asked during the 2017 International Conference of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) on “Integrated and Coherent Sustainable Development”: “If forced to choose one of the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] to prioritize, which would it be?” Of course, this provocation elicited numerous responses, and passionate debate as each of the SDGs is worthy and the policy community supporting sustainable development is heterogeneous, including stakeholders who are implicated in discussions on the environment, human rights, public health, food security, water security, gender equality, and so on. None of the responses forwarded can be considered “wrong.”

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Viv Caruana and Catherine Montgomery

This article presents a comprehensive review of research on transnational higher education published between 2006 and 2014. It aims to provide an overview of a highly complex field that is both nascent and shifting, with research developing unevenly and concentrated in particular areas. This overview will enable academics working in transnational higher education to place their practice in the wider context of socio-political and cultural discourses. The review adopts the concept of positionality, which defines individuals and/or groups not in terms of fixed identities but by their shifting location within networks of relationships as a means of understanding the changing landscape.