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Your Environment. Your Health.

Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) in India

Global Environmental Health

Indian school kids in a classroom

Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) in India

October 2019

Experts: Edith Parker, Dr.PH., Rajesh Tandon, Ph.D.

In this podcast, we will hear from two CBPR practitioners who participated in the workshop in Delhi, India. First, we will hear from Edith Parker, a well-known practitioner of CBPR at the University of Iowa School of Public Health. She’ll explain how CBPR benefited her work in rural communities, and how she connected with Rajesh Tandon, founder of Participatory Research in Asia, or PRIA. Then, we’ll hear from Tandon himself, as he discusses how India utilizes CBPR today, and how he hopes it might create a better future for the country.

In this podcast, we will hear from two CBPR practitioners who participated in the workshop in Delhi, India. First, we will hear from Edith Parker, a well-known practitioner of CBPR at the University of Iowa School of Public Health. She’ll explain how CBPR benefited her work in rural communities, and how she connected with Rajesh Tandon, founder of Participatory Research in Asia, or PRIA. Then, we’ll hear from Tandon himself, as he discusses how India utilizes CBPR today, and how he hopes it might create a better future for the country.

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a partnership approach to research that involves community members, organizations, and researchers during all steps of the research process. NIEHS has long recognized the value of CBPR, especially when working with vulnerable populations where community members may not have a voice. Earlier this year, NIEHS coordinated a CBPR workshop that brought together practitioners and stakeholders from two opposite sides of the globe.

Edith Parker, Dr.PH.

Edith Parker, Dr.PH. is the dean of the University of Iowa College of Public Health. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health. Before arriving to the University of Iowa, she served as the associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Parker’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her research interests include environmental health interventions and community engagement and outreach.

She is a nationally recognized expert for her work in community-based participatory research (CBPR), which she began focusing on while earning her doctoral degree. Since then, she has consulted on community-academic partnerships around North America, publishing papers on the benefits of CBPR. In 2017, she received the University of Iowa Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, which honors faculty members for work representing a significant contribution to excellence in public education.

Rajesh Tandon, Ph.D

Rajesh Tandon, Ph.D. is an internationally acclaimed leader and practitioner of participatory research and development. He founded Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), an organization that advocates for and provides training in participatory research. Today he serves as the president of the organization, championing the cause of building organizations and capacities in marginalized communities.

As a pioneer of participatory research, Tandon has given new meaning to academic research by redefining the relationship between the researcher and the subjects of that research. He is the co-chair of the UNESCO Chair on Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education. He has also served on committees for the Government of India, the University Grants Commission of India, and the United Nations. He has received numerous awards and honors from his work with PRIA and these organizations. In 2011, he was the first Indian to be inducted to the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.

Tandon studied electronics engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He went on to earn his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta, and his Ph.D. in management from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to his work with PRIA, he taught at IIM, Calcutta.


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