Enhancing capacity building in community-based research CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Initiative on-line survey

Dear Colleagues,

I am forwarding a request from CIHR for you to complete a CBR program evaluation survey. As your advocate for HIV/AIDS Community-Based research (CBR) in BC I would be remiss by not informing you that in my opinion the survey is heavily biased to provide “evidence” to re-allocate funds from the existing CBR program tools (the CBR Facilitator is one of these tools) into a new CBR Network enhancement position which would allow for one general and one aboriginal person for all of Canada rather than the seven regional positions now in existence.

It is not my intention to influence your survey answers, but in the interest of full disclosure, it is the opinion of my fellow CBRFs and myself that this survey does not provide you with adequate means to capture your work with the CBRF in your area or the positive impact that the CBRF tool has made to your project(s) and CBR in general. I would encourage you to make use of the “other” sections and “comments” to indicate how you value the work of the CBRF in your area and if you prefer to support the resources for the continuation of the CBRF positions. There is a real risk that this survey will provide CIHR with the “evidence” it needs to reallocate the funds from the CBRF tool (and lose CBRFs) and into the newly proposed CBR Network enhancement position with a focus on knowledge translation activities. This would cripple the ability of community organizations to initiate their own research projects and/or assistance with writing CIHR proposals, among other CBRF assistance activities in the formation phase of CBR projects.

I encourage you to complete the survey and convey your feedback and experiences utilizing the CBRF in your area even if the survey tool doesn’t readily allow for these responses.

Terry Howard, MScPPH
BC HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research Facilitator
Funded by Canadian Institutes for Health Research
Housed at the BC Persons With AIDS Society
1107 Seymour Street
Vancouver BC V6B 5S8

Phone (direct) 604.893.2281
Fax 604.893. 225

The HIV/AIDS Research Initiative of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is seeking input on how it could most effectively evolve one of its funding programs to best meet the changing needs of the HIV/AIDS community.

The on-line survey is open from September 24th to October 8th, 2010.  To complete the survey, please visit:  http://cihr-irsc.sondages-surveys.ca/s/cbr/langen/

The HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research (CBR) Program funds research carried out by, and in partnership with, community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions to develop the knowledge they need to carry out their work in the most effective manner and to create research expertise within these organizations. The program promotes and supports greater engagement of communities in all stages of research, from the definition of the research question, to capacity building and integration of community members in conducting research, to active participation in disseminating and applying research results to help the people at risk of or living with HIV infection and AIDS.

The CBR program invests $2.7M annually through six funding mechanisms: catalyst grants; operating grants; capacity building workshops; Master’s and Doctoral research awards; and Community-Based Research Facilitators who support those programs. Funding is delivered through two streams: Aboriginal Research and General Research.

This survey will first ask you to identify existing needs or gaps in CBR capacity-building supports and activities (if any), and then to evaluate the utility of a range of mechanisms to address the gaps and needs you have identified. Armed with the results of this survey, CIHR will not reduce the overall CBR budget, but may revise and/ or allocate program funds differently across the CBR funding mechanisms.

Your opinions are important to us. Please take the time to participate in this survey. 

For more information on the CIHR HIV/AIDS CBR Program, please visit:  http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/25835.html