Research is improved when victim researchers and practitioners—including service providers—work together. Practitioners benefit from expert guidance and resources during the research process, while researchers benefit from a clearer understanding of community needs, the services being offered, and the goals of the program.
Research can be further strengthened when steps are taken to include members of the community in the research process. Participatory or inclusionary research may take additional time but can be an important step for the findings to eventually influence policy and practice.
Successful research and practice collaborations take time, effort, and resources to develop. Materials collected here can get you started.
Tools and Tips
The Center for Victim Research offers 10 helpful tips for Building Successful Victim Researcher and Practitioner Collaborations. Meaningful partnerships require both researchers and practitioners to think carefully about developing trust and respect, ensuring a shared understanding of the project goals, and investing the necessary time and resources.
Finding a Research Partner for Victim Researcher-Practitioner Collaborations, a CVR Quick Reference, helps victim service providers identify potential research partners, ask questions to determine the right fit, and set a foundation for a successful collaboration.
Guide for Hiring a Local Evaluator from OVC TTAC features a number of helpful tools, including an evaluation rubric that outlines the research expertise level needed for various projects and a sample job announcement that serves as a guide to ensure all important requirements are communicated to applicants.
The Center Victim Research’s Quick Reference, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Victim Researcher-Practitioner Collaborations, sets out the benefits of entering an MOU and the key elements to consider.
Data-Sharing Agreements, a CVR Quick Reference, explains their use by victim service providers and researchers and sets out points to consider in drafting. It also includes a sample agreement.
Building Partnerships: Victim Researcher and Practitioner Collaborations, a CVR webinar with Christine Murray, PhD, LPC, LFMT, presents the benefits and challenges of researcher-practitioner partnerships.
Tribal Research Initiatives in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities: Engaging Tribal Leadership and Community Stakeholders, a CVR webinar by presenters Ada Pecos Melton, MPA, Rita Y. Martinez, BA, and DeeJay Chino, MPA, of American Indian Development Associates. Presenters discuss the unique challenges of designing culturally informed research in tribal communities and Alaska Native villages and present strategies for initiating active and meaningful involvement by tribal leaders, communities, and citizens.
Participatory Action Research: Involving “All the Players” in Evaluation and Change, 2007, The Foundation Center GrantCraft Service. This guide includes a number of useful materials relating to participatory action research, including answers to common questions and mini-case studies that involve the communities or end users of the research.
Power Through Partnerships: A CBPR Toolkit for Domestic Violence Research Centers, 2017, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. This toolkit is designed to guide and support researchers considering a community-based participatory research (CPBR) approach. It is also useful for domestic violence and other advocates who would like more information about CPBR..
Evaluation for Improvement: A Seven-Step Empowerment Evaluation Approach, 2009 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This manual includes resources related to hiring an evaluator, including how to develop a hiring committee, what to ask in the interview, how to assess a candidate, and more. It was designed for violence prevention organizations but is useful for others working on victimization issues.
Video interview with Carol Jordan, founding executive director of the University of Kentucky Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women, on the importance of researchers and practitioners working together. It includes examples of strategies from her experience.
Career Strategies for Victim Researchers in Academic Settings, a CVR Quick Reference, provides tips for navigating a successful path involving victim-related community-engaged research.
The National Institute of Justice-funded Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships Study (RPPS) produced a number of guides, summaries, and tip sheets designed for a variety of audiences, including researchers, practitioners, and state administering agencies. While the study focused on partnerships with criminal justice practitioners, the findings and resources are relevant to other practitioners as well.