“Meaningful community collaboration in research, as we know it today, started during the HIV/AIDS pandemic as a grassroots movement to gain an equal voice at the table of scientific discovery. Today, participatory health research, community advisory boards, and knowledge translation are common buzzwords that look attractive to grant reviewers and journal editors. However, community partnerships cannot be reduced to mere tokenism or committee meetings. Meaningful community engagement involves lasting partnerships, a willingness to consider differing opinions, and elevation of lived experience to the level of academic credentials. It requires authentic collaboration at all stages, from generating research questions to translating findings into action, including community members in leading roles, building capacity, and providing ownership. Importantly, it is not a unidirectional process, but an interactive effort to embrace community wisdom, values, and priorities. Now, in the context of another infectious disease pandemic, lessons learned from engagement with the HIV community are more relevant than ever.”

More here on Practicable methods to overcome barriers to effective collaboration during a pandemic via BCMJ.

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