Empowering people to build community

Williamstown has embarked on a research project to better understand safety and wellbeing in Williamstown, and we need your help! This research explores how the town addresses public safety needs now, how residents feel about their own safety, and how we can create a greater sense of well-being and belonging.

What is community based participatory research?

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a collaborative approach that starts with and includes community members. It empowers and energizes them to use their existing strengths, includes the voices of those who have been socially disadvantaged or have suffered historical injustices, and combines these valuable resources with evidence-based research to produce sustainable and measurable policy and programmatic changes.


CBPR invites community members to partner with skilled researchers to analyze issues impacting the community and identify potential solutions.


By developing and strengthening relationships among individuals, community groups, nonprofits, businesses, and local government, CBPR engages the community’s capacity to resolve problems, stimulate growth, and implement positive community change.


CBPR is often effective in addressing issues involving social and structural inequities because of the ways that it challenges the power dynamics of traditional research and includes those most affected by a community issue in defining both the problems and solutions to that issue.

Some examples:

CBPR approach

The CBPR approach brings together the expertise of the community—empowering citizens to define problems and explore solutions for themselves—with the expertise of skilled researchers who combine community data with existing bodies of research to develop solutions. Then they develop ways of measuring outcomes with additional research to help ensure that new programs and policies meet community goals and inform further enhancements.


How can you get involved?

If you would like to be interviewed as part of this project, please click here to register.