PhD Candidate Merin Oleschuk on Community-Based Participatory Research

Merin OleschukPhD Candidate Merin Oleschuk, in collaboration with Professor Maria Mayan, Sanchia Lo, Anna Paucholo, and Daley Laing (all from the University of Alberta), published an article in Engaged Scholar Journal. The article examines the role of leadership in community-based participatory research. The authors argue that leadership in these research projects, and how it is developed, is similar to traditional leadership in many ways.

Merin Oleschuk is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto studying the impact of social inequalities on food consumption. Her dissertation examines values and practices around home cooking.

The full text of the article can be accessed through Engaged Scholar Journal’s website here. We have included the citation and abstract below.

Mayan, Maria, Sanchia Lo, Merin Oleschuk, Anna Paucholo, and Daley Laing. 2016. “Leadership in Community-Based Participatory Research: Individual to Collective.” Engaged Scholar Journal, 2(2):11-24.

Multi-sector collaborative partnerships hold much promise in tackling seemingly intractable and complex social issues. However, they often encounter many challenges in achieving their goals. Leadership can play an important role in reducing the impact of factors that threaten a multi-sector partnership’s success. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnerships are collaborative and, in many cases, multi-sectored. While there is a developing literature and practice on multi-sector, collaborative partnerships, leadership in CBPR is relatively unexplored, especially at various partnership stages (i.e., formation, implementation, maintenance, and accomplishment of goal). Through the method of focused ethnography, we explored the research question “How is leadership exercised during the formation stage of a CBPR partnership?” Eighteen partners (government, community, and university sectors) were interviewed about the leadership during the formation stage of their partnership, and data were qualitatively content-analyzed. Partners explained that leadership was exercised during the formation stage through (1) individual characteristics, (2) actions, and (3) as a collective. Our findings illustrate that CBPR leadership shares many of the characteristics of traditional leadership and adapts them to support the collaborative process of CBPR, leading to a collective form of leadership. These findings have implications for the study and practice of CBPR leadership.

Read the full article here.