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‘Engagement and involvement matrix’: a co-creation blueprint for inclusive community engaged research and knowledge mobilisation
  1. Tanvir C Turin1,2,
  2. Mohammad A A Lasker3,
  3. Nafiza Rahman3,
  4. Nahid Rumana4,
  5. Nashit Chowdhury1,2
  1. 1 Department of Family Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2 Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  3. 3 Community Based Citizen Researcher, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  4. 4 Sleep Centre, Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tanvir C Turin, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada; turin.chowdhury{at}

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Engaging and involving knowledge users in community-based research has become widely acknowledged among researchers as a vital part of the research process. Knowledge users include those individuals, groups or organisations with a personal stake in the research being undertaken. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) defines a knowledge user as ‘an individual who is likely to be able to use research results to make informed decisions about health policies, programmes and/or practices’.1 Knowledge users in this context can include community members, policy makers, decision-makers, community leaders, healthcare administrators, private sector organisations and others.

Community-based participatory research,2 integrated knowledge translation3 and human-centred design4 strategies are all examples of people-centred approaches that engage and involve knowledge users as part of the research process. These approaches stress involving a variety of research partners, including the public, citizens, patients, community members and different stakeholders from the community in which the research is to take place. The CIHR defines stakeholders as those persons who have ‘a shared interest in the project, through their involvement in the project; or who may be in the geographic locality where the research takes place; or may be affected by the environmental effects of the research’.5

Engaging and involving knowledge users in community-based research is a core aspect of capacity building. Capacity building is crucial for all members of a research team, including both academics and community members.6 Activities that promote capacity building allow researchers to better understand the research process and the theory behind it. This understanding allows everyone to contribute effectively to the research and occurs through collaboratively forming and defining the research question, setting appropriate project goals, collecting data, interpreting results and presenting data in a manner that a lay audience can understand. Initiatives we have incorporated into our research …

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  • Contributors TCT, NRu, and MAAL conceived of the paper. TCT coordinated drafting the paper. MAAL, NRu, NRa, and NC critically reviewed the manuscript. NRu, NRa and MAAL provided important perspectives as community member researchers. TCT acts as guarantor to this article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer The views expressed here are those of the authors and are based on their working expeirence, positionality, and reflections.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement statement While preparing this manuscript, we have collaborated actively with community scholar and citizen researchers at the community level from the very beginning. We had regular interactions with them to get their valuable and insightful inputs in shaping our reflections. Their involvement in this paper also provided a learning opportunity for them and facilitated them to gain insight on knowledge engagement. All authors support the greater community / citizen / public involvement in research in an equitable and an empowered manner.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.