Making it Work Project

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Making It Work is an Indigenous-focused, community-based research project in British Columbia co-led by PAN and the AHA Centre at CAAN (Communities, Alliances and Networks). Making It Work was born out of conversations within the community when looking at the challenges people living with HIV, hepatitis C and other associated—and complex—social and health issues face every day. These discussions led to a realization that we need to understand better whether people facing these challenges experience better outcomes when they access services from organizations that approach care through an Indigenous view of health and wellbeing and also link case management services with community development programs.

Making It Work explores the relationship between improved outcomes and cultural safety, case management and community development by developing an understanding of how service providers adapt case management and programming to “make them work” in ways that are culturally safe for the people they serve. There are three primary goals for the project:

  • develop and implement an evidence-based evaluation plan for case management and community development programs across BC
  • support capacity building in community-based research and evaluation methods for Peer Researchers, communities, and other stakeholders
  • highlight how Indigenous service delivery models can inform services for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people accessing services

From a methodological perspective, Making It Work seeks to bridge Indigenous ways of knowing and doing and Indigenous research methodologies with Western academic Realist Evaluation methodology. The team has had many discussions of what this would look like and how it would work, and continue to do so. We envision our work as a kind of spiral, where everything we learn feeds into the next questions we seek to ask, and the information we glean from those questions then feeds into further questions and so on. In addition to the three primary goals of the project, we are actively working to document what this methodological approach looks like and how we are building it as the project goes forward.

Making it Work is funded by by a CIHR Catalyst Grant and Operating Grant and the AHA Centre.

Study Findings

Full Research Report September 2023
Community Research Summary September 2023
Infographic with main research findings October 2023
CAHR Conference 2023 Poster: Building New Fires: Developing a Realist Evaluation Survey Using Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Doing April 2023
CAHR Conference 2022 Poster: Learning Together: Analysis Through Differing Perspectives in the Making it Work Study April 2022
Team publication, Making Allyship Work: Allyship in a Community-Based Research Study Summer 2021
CAHR Conference 2020 Poster: Using a Two-Eyed Seeing Approach to Realist Evaluation in a Community-Based Research Project April 2020


Study News and Updates

Making it Work Knowledge Sharing Events (2024)
Negotiating Information Sharing in Community-Based Research (blog post) November 2020
Two-Eyed Seeing and Realist Evaluation (blog post) June 2020
Project Brief (infographic) November 2019
Check It Out: New Making It Work Study Logo October 2019
Making It Work Project Update March 2018

Study Team

5 questions with Making it Work Trainee Courtney Tizya November 2022
5 questions with Alicia Koback, Peer Research Associate for Making it Work November 2022
5 questions with Hermione Jefferis, Peer Research Associate for Making it Work October 2022
5 questions with Edi Young, Peer Research Associate for Making it Work January 2021
5 questions with Making it Work Trainee Katsistohkwí:io Jacco June 2020



Making it Work KTE Authorship Guidelines
TEMPLATE Making it Work Research Product Proposal
“Making it Work” Environmental Scan: Case Management & Community Development and Community Capacity Building Models
Summary Document
Full Report
OHTN Rapid Response – Literature Review on Case Management & Community Engagement Models
Working Together Video: Dr. Cathy Worthington’s Presentation
Engaging Indigenous communities in research by Dr. Josée Lavoie
Introduction to Realist Evaluation
Participatory Evaluation Primer
Two-Eyed Seeing
Indigenous Ways of Knowing: OISE Online Course


For more information about the project please contact Leanne Zubowski, PAN’s Research and Evaluation Specialist: [email protected]

PAN would like to thank the Canadian Institute for Health Research for a Catalyst Grant and an Operating Grant to complete this study. We would also like to thank the AHA Centre and the University of Victoria for their support.