UNESCO Knowledge For Change Tkaronto Hub

The UNESCO Knowledge For Change (K4C) Toronto Hub is part of the Knowledge for Change Global Consortium, an initiative of the UNESCO Co-Chairs in Community-Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education with the goal of developing research capacities for the co-creation of knowledge through collective action by practitioners, community-based researchers, community groups and academics. 

Following conversations about the importance of community expertise and to ensure that research are also driven by community needs,  K4C Toronto was co-founded in the summer of 2019 by the Centre for Critical Development Studies at UTSC, OISE at the U of T, community partners Toronto Centre for Community Learning & Development (CL&D), and Ontario Council for International Cooperation (OCIC)

As of March 2020, mentors from these organisations have been trained and certified by K4C Global to become resources in future community-based participatory research projects. They have also been deeply embedded in the pedagogy of the cluster of courses that form the core of the Community Knowledge Learning Hub, an experiential learning project funded by the Provost at the U of Toronto.

K4C Mentors in Training at the Face to Face Residency in Bogota, Colombia
  1. Our collective goal is to enable transformative change by providing community-based education and research learning opportunities (online and in-person) to students, educators, academics, community development and international cooperation practitioners, and residents in our city, province, and beyond. 
  2. Working with communities and partner organizations in support of their education and human development goals
  3. Creating and providing access to CBPAR training for community partners in our region and internationally – through the development of learning institutes that could take place online or in person. 
  4. Share knowledge and practices with other hubs within the K4C consortium

Our Projects: 

Immigrant Women Integration Program (IWIP) Community Based Participatory Action Research Course 

IWIP Researchers presenting their CBPAR projects to the Community Knowledge Learning Hub classes with students

This is a project-based, post-secondary level course about the principles and practices of Community-Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) for immigrant and newcomer women living in the Greater Toronto Area to explore the potential of CBPAR for social change. For the purposes of this course CBPAR is defined as “A research approach that involves active participation of stakeholders, those whose lives are affected by the issue being studied, in all phases of research for producing useful results to make positive changes.” (Nelson, Ochocka, Griffin & Lord, 1998, p.12) https://communityresearchcanada.ca/intro-to-cbr/

In the first part of the course students develop a practical understanding of CBPAR purpose, principles and phases and a mix of more traditional and arts-based research methods through readings, reflection, and experiential learning activities. In the second part of the course students have the opportunity to design and carry out a CBPAR project on a topic of their choice either on their own or in small groups. 

By the end of this course students are able to:

  • Explain the main purpose, principles and phases of CBPAR.
  • Design and lead a CBPAR project on a topic of their choice and carry out all phases of the CBPAR process, starting with identifying a research problem/question and the relevant stakeholders/actors and participants; creating a project plan; choosing appropriate community engagement, participant recruitment, and information gathering methods;
  • Use a variety of qualitative, quantitative and arts-based CBPAR methods; 
  • Recruit participants and collect research data based on research ethics principles and protocols;
  • Analyze quantitative data (basic analysis using free survey applications (e.g. google forms), and analyze qualitative data using basic manual coding techniques, and 
  • Create a succinct report on research findings (using PowerPoint). 

Community Based Participatory Action Research Summer Institute 

Summer Virtual Institute on Community-Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) aims to support capacity-building of civil society organizations and community members in Ontario. 

Over the course of four weekly 90-minute online modules participants are introduced to CBPAR principles and phases, and learn how to use CBPAR methods observation and arts-based methods through readings, resources, reflection, and experiential learning activities. Given the time limitation, this Institute will not be covering the full range of CBPAR methods. 

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