Collaboration refers to the ways people plan and carry out research projects, from the first stages through the active process to the sharing of findings. Methods can be formal or informal, and the choices that researchers make in their practices shape the relationships that participants, communities, and researchers have to each other and the findings.
Ethical research today demands collaboration, mutual benefit, and mutual learning. Research methods that question existing power structures and the ownership of knowledge are particularly important. A common goal of these methods is to decolonize ways of producing and sharing knowledge. Decolonization places Indigenous concerns and views at the center, a response to oppressive legacies.
There are several strategies for bringing more respect and self-determination to research processes. Community-based or participatory methods refer to collaborative methods that benefit participants directly, whether through a research intervention or influencing broader change. Examples of community-based or participatory research methods include:
Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR)
Participatory Action Research (PAR)
All of these methods can be used to support Indigenous research practices, processes of self-determination, and equitable relationships between researchers, communities, and participants. Reciprocity, transparency, and accountability of the researcher to the participant and community are essential. Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) is also a critical and essential principle.