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Community Based Research

The Social Innovation Research Centre (SIRG) is passionate about community-based research (CBR). SIRG collaborates with community members to identify a topic of practical relevance and leverage research as a tool to educate and promote positive social change.

Through their continued involvement in CBR projects, SIRG fosters community-campus partnerships that share a common interest in improving the support provided by community-based service systems.

CBR is a partnership approach to research that involves community partners and individuals in all aspects of the research process. At SIRG, CBR is built on relationships, which we have cultivated in the community for the past 15 years. Mutuality, trust and authentic dialogue are the principles that guide our work.

SIRG engages in CBR that is heavily implicated in community development initiatives, often with vulnerable populations. Our work informs the ways in which we collaborate with members of the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit community, survivors of war and torture, poverty advocates, immigrant and refugee communities as well as other stakeholders. Having relationships with various community stakeholders means that we are able to forge authentic research partnerships when our collaborators call upon us to do so.

SIRG hosts community events to bring together community partners, students and academics in a way that is fun and non-hierarchical. From garage sales to political forums, being able to collide socially with one another lays a foundation of collaborative work, which informs the nature and depth of the projects in which we are involved.

Past Events

Throughout its history, SIRG has hosted a diverse range of community events, including:

  • SIRG 5th Anniversary Event
  • Conseil de la cooperation de l’Ontario event
    • In 2009, SIRG offered a week long training seminar to francophone community economic developers in the Ottawa region. SIRG organized guest speakers from South Western Ontario who are well versed in cooperative management and development. SIRG students learned about organizing and community economic development, and its relevance to social work practice.
  • Women’s Sexual Health Project
  • Community retirement party for Rob Davis, Waterloo Region Police
  • Faculty of Social Work Diversity and Organizations Professional Development workshop
  • Haiti Forum
  • Huron County collaboration
  • Community garage sales
  • SIRG 3rd Space Discussion Series speakers: Henry Giroux & Joe Schlesinger
  • Abrigo Project
  • Peace & Diversity Conference

Contact Us:

Ginette Lafrenière, Director (SIRG), Associate Dean (MSW Programs)

T: 519.884.0710 x5237
Office Location: FSW 310

Rachel Yavnai, Research & Community Project Coordinator

T: 519.884.0710 x5280
Office Location: FSW 206A