A Tool to Measure the Community Impacts of Research-Oriented Partnerships

This website provides information about the development of a tool to measure the impacts of research partnerships and alliances. This tool is available to download free of charge.

The CIROP Measure is a 33-item generic measure of community members' perceptions of the impact of research partnerships addressing social and health issues. The CIROP informs research partnerships about the extent of their impact in the areas of Personal Knowledge Development, Personal Research Skill Development, Organizational / Group Access To and Use of Information, and Community and Organizational Development.

The CIROP Measure can be used to:

Assess the effectiveness of knowledge sharing approaches.

Determine the most influential activities of partnerships.

Determine structural characteristics of partnerships associated with various types of impact.

Demonstrate accountability to funding bodies.

The CIROP Measure provides a better understanding of community members' perspectives and expectations of research partnerships, which has important implications for knowledge transfer and uptake.

Why Study the Impact of Research-Oriented Partnerships?

Research partnerships between universities and community organizations or groups are proliferating in Canada and elsewhere. The general aim of these partnerships is to foster research linkages between communities and universities in order to promote multidisciplinary endeavours focusing on important real-world issues and problems.

It is generally assumed that research partnerships are beneficial. They are thought to produce knowledge that informs community members and leads to greater understanding, more efficient service delivery, more effective clinical programs, and enhanced community development. There is, however, little concrete evidence of these benefits. Consequently, the real-world impacts of research partnerships are largely unknown.

We need to be better able to articulate and demonstrate the benefits of research partnerships from the perspective of community members. People in partnerships need external guidance and an indication that they are on the right track. They need to demonstrate their accountability to advisory boards, funders, and communities. Within the university, researchers often obtain benefits from partnership that are less tangible than the number of publications, and these impacts are often ignored.

Easy To Read Summary

King, G., & Currie, M. (2002). Why study the impact of research-oriented partnerships? Backgrounder: Information about the Impact Study. London, ON: Research Alliance for Children with Special Needs.

Funders of The Impact Study

"Measuring the external impact of community-university research alliances and partnerships addressing social/health issues," funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2002-2005, G. King, M. Law, C. Forchuk, T. Willoughby, P. Rosenbaum, M. Kertoy, H. Chalmers, J. Specht, and M. Currie.

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