This book is for researchers and students looking for ways to engage communities and industry in research. It is also written for community leaders, philanthropists and managers of organisations interested in building mutually beneficial partnerships with researchers, or training their own researchers. To this end, I hope that the readers of this book will appreciate that in their own way, whether big or small, they will be able to make research more meaningful by genuinely and honestly engaging with the communities of people with whom they work. I hope that an auto-ethnography or personal narrative approach will throw light on the factors that lead to positive research engagement and impact, thereby helping researchers avoid some of my pitfalls.
Komla Tsey is a Tropical Leader/Research Professor in Education for Social Sustainability at James Cook University's Cairns Institute. He uses participatory action research and quality improvement approaches to support individuals, families, community groups, and workers and managers in organisations to take greater control and responsibility for the issues affecting their health and wellbeing. He has previously worked as a lecturer at University of Ghana, Head of Central Australian Unit of Menzies School of Health Research and Head of University of Queensland's School of Population Health North Queensland Unit. Komla's research and development activities have taken him to Ghana, Scotland, Aboriginal Australia, Papua New Guinea, China and Timor-Leste. He has written over 150 peer reviewed journal papers, authored/co-authored 5 books, and received many awards including the JA Thompson Award for Public Health Practice. Komla teaches short courses as well as provides consultancy services in the areas of research engagement and impact, leadership 'soft skills' training, wellbeing promotion, rapid evidence reviews and program planning and evaluation.
1. Aiming for Relevance: Early Experiences of Community Engagement in Ghana.- 2. Understanding the Context: The Case of Central Australian Aboriginal Health.- 3. Learning by Doing: Community Action Against Sex, Alcohol and Violence in Tennant Creek.- 4. Building Capacity for Research: The Lowitja Institute.- 5. Developing Self-awareness as a Researcher: The Family Wellbeing Program.- 6. Facilitating Empowerment: The Family Wellbeing Program in Alice Springs.- 7. Building Readiness for Change: The Case of Yarrabah Men's Group.- 8. Taking a Long-term Approach: The Family Wellbeing Program in Yarrabah.- 9. Managing Unanticipated Consequences: Historical Research in Ghana.- 10. Planning for and Tracking Research Impact: Australian Research Council Framework.- 11. Conclusion: A Strengths-based Framework for Research Engagement and Impact.