Date(s) - 18/11/2020
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Dr. Rajesh Tandon, our UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, Founder-President, PRIA initiated the dialogue by sharing the unique position of this UNESCO Chair since it has one leg in Canada and one leg in India to combine academic and community practice in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). Speaking of the purpose of creating the Knowledge for Change Global Consortium (K4C), Dr. Tandon spoke about how the younger generation of students are unable to learn and contextualise the methodologies of CBPR in a “real’ manner. So the idea of K4C emerged to bridge links between educational institutions and community organisations to co-construct knowledge which starts from research questions for addressing socio-economic situation or other challenges in the community.
There is a 21 week mentor training program, where mentors design their own community-building programs, which can be certificate courses, degree courses or housed in any other form. When mentors are training the next generation in each hub, each hub focusses on producing new knowledge which can be a solution for local SDG priorities. SDGs can only be realised location by location, not macro by through a micro approach. There are 20 hubs from different countries and the 6TH Cohort will be launched next year. These hubs exemplify ways in which cities can take initiatives in partnership with local research institutions to co-produce knowledge. Cities can help with knowledge building, production and mobilisation and K4C will be happy to partner with all new cities for this purpose. City leadership has the potential to redesign cities to cater to the needs of the most marginalised.
Finally, in the question-answer round, Dr. Tandon spoke of a trust based environment in CBPR and stated that for listening to marginalized community’s voices, a safe space has to be created to allow them to frame research questions or share their knowledge. Trust takes time, leadership and the trust based relationship has to be equitable in nature.