Overview of Research at PAN

The Research Program exists to facilitate, support and grow community-based research and program and implementation science initiatives and partnerships that address HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and related issues in British Columbia and across Canada.

Community-Based Research

What is community-based research? Community-based research (CBR) is a methodological practice that places community partnerships at the forefront. CBR approaches are marked by the following principles: collaborative, change-oriented, and inclusive. PAN has supported the CIHR CBR Collaborative (a program of REACH) develop a set of CBR Principles, that direct our work.

PAN applies community-based research (CBR) methods to investigate issues important to communities in BC, including stigma, housing and case management processes. PAN strives to engage people with lived experience in all steps of the research process and has developed resources to support meaningful engagement of peers. PAN also works extensively with affiliated researchers to support the planning and implementation of our studies.

We also encourage you to attend our Sharing Space Quarterly meetings, which bring together researchers and other stakeholders involved in community-based research throughout the province to share information, build partnerships, and develop a collective vision for CBR in BC. Please see our CBR Resources for links to reports and tools.


Program and Implementation Science

Program and implementation science is not a new idea for community-based organizations, but it works to formalize the way organizations have been intuitively working for years. It is about supporting the continuous process of asking questions. It focuses on gathering information while programs are happening – during their planning, implementation and evaluation phases – to support program improvements and to allow for the scale-up and transfer of effective programs to other locations and populations.

PAN supports program and implementation science research at local, regional, provincial and national levels by collaborating with HIV and hepatitis C focused partners and organizations in learning about and applying evaluation tools and program science to guide all stages of programming, from planning and development through to modifying for improvement.

PAN also benefits from the support of the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS and the REACH CBR Collaborative Centre. These are complimentary national centres that aim to be highly responsive to provincial and regional needs through regional teams across the country who  work with the broader HIV, HCV and research, policy-making, CBO, and people with lived experience communities to foster HIV, hepatitis C, and related CBR and program and implementation science capacity-building activities driven by regional priorities and needs. PAN’s Executive Director is the co-lead of the BC/Yukon Core Team of the Centre. The Core Team has developed a set of research priorities for the region that help direct our work.


Ongoing PAN Research Projects

PAN participates in a number of community-based research initiatives. These include:


The Small Urban, Rural, and Remote Harm Reduction Project (SURR) The Small Urban, Rural, and Remote Harm Reduction Project is about bringing together harm reduction leaders from rural and remote communities in BC, to identify research and advocacy priorities, and provide a community for mutual support.


SPARTA Project: Sustaining Partnerships to Advance Community PrioRities in STIBBI Public Health Data Sets. The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) Clinical Prevention Services (CPS) Sexually Transmitted Infections and Blood-Borne Infections (STIBBI) surveillance team has partnered with PAN to create a proposed framework for governance of STIBBI public health data. This includes engagement of patients, people with lived and living experiences (PWLLE), and community in the surveillance and research conducted with databases that integrate public health data related to STIBBIs.


The Organizational Stigma Assessment Cycle Project (OSAC) supports one of PAN’s core values, which is to challenge stigma and discrimination. OSAC will support organizations to learn where they may unintentionally be contributing to experiences of stigma and discrimination, and identify areas for growth and change.


Making It Work Project: The Making It Work: Supporting Community Approaches to Integrated Service Models for People Living with HIV, hepatitis C, Ill Mental Health, and/or Problematic Substance Use Project is a community-based research project in British Columbia. The first phase of this project is building a realist evaluation framework that will then be implemented to understand how service providers adapt and build on “best practice” service delivery models to “make them work” for service users in ways that are culturally safe, particularly for Indigenous service users.


The BC People Living with HIV Stigma Index: This dynamic research project is born out of a community-identified need to turn the tide against persistent HIV stigma and discrimination. Linked to the international People Living with HIV Stigma Index initiative, it is the first community-based research (CBR) study in British Columbia to document experiences of stigma and discrimination from the perspective of people living with HIV.


PAN’s Past Projects

Positive Living, Positive Homes Study (PLPH): PLPH is a community-based research project in British Columbia born out of the community’s identification of housing as a critical health determinant for people living with, or at risk of, HIV and AIDS. The study examines the impact of quality housing and housing security on the mental and physical health of people living with HIV/AIDS, access to health and social services, and HIV prevention.


Impact of Food Security on Health Outcomes in People Living with HIV/AIDS Across Canada: This CIHR-funded study explores the prevalence of food insecurity among HIV-positive individuals. The study investigates the primary causes, risk factors and access barriers that influence food insecurity among people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as how food insecurity affects HIV health outcomes, quality of life and survival.


Rethinking ASOs?: Our goal for this project, called Rethinking ASOs? Responding to the End of AIDS Exceptionalism through East-West Collaboration, was to collaborate in sharing our understanding of the shifting roles of ASOs as it relates to integration and the idea of AIDS Exceptionalism. The Deliberative Dialogues held in both BC and the Atlantic regions on November 24, 2014, was an opportunity to share information and host conversations on what further research could be done to support communities to respond to these changes.


Moving Mountains: The Moving Mountains HIV/AIDS Community Based Research Conference took place in Prince George, BC on June 17-19, 2014. This conference was born out of this desire to bring a diverse group of stakeholders from the North together to review research underway and to build the capacity to participate in CBR – all with the goal of strengthening the local response to HIV/AIDS.


PAN’s Commitment to Integrity in Research and Scholarship

PAN recognizes its responsibility to ensure that all research and scholarship meets the highest scientific and ethical standards, including the duty of honest and thoughtful reflective inquiry, rigorous analysis, accountability and sharing findings with those who participate in PAN-endorsed research.  PAN is committed to ethical conduct in all its funded and unfunded research initiatives that involve human subjects.

PAN’s Integrity in Research and Scholarship Policy outlines PAN’s standards for conducting research in ways that respect and preserve research participants’ dignity and well-being. PAN promotes and adheres to these standards when leading or contributing to any research project.