Enhancing stewardship of community-engaged research through governance

Am J Public Health. 2015 Jun;105(6):1161-7. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302457. Epub 2015 Apr 16.


Objectives: We explored the relationship of community-engaged research final approval type (tribal government, health board, or public health office (TG/HB); agency staff or advisory board; or individual or no community approval) with governance processes, productivity, and perceived outcomes.

Methods: We identified 294 federally funded community-engaged research projects in 2009 from the National Institutes of Health's Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Prevention Research Centers, and Native American Research Centers for Health databases. Two hundred (68.0%) investigators completed a survey about governance processes and productivity measures; 312 partners (77.2% of 404 invited) and 138 investigators (69.0% of 200 invited) completed a survey about perceived outcomes.

Results: Projects with TG/HB approval had increased likelihood of community control of resources (odds ratios [ORs] ≥ 4.80). Projects with other approvals had decreased likelihood of development or revision of institutional review board policies (ORs ≤ 0.37), having written agreements (ORs ≤ 0.17), and agreements about publishing (ORs ≤ 0.28), data use (ORs ≤ 0.17), and publishing approval (ORs ≤ 0.14).

Conclusions: Community-engaged research projects with TG/HB approval had strong stewardship of project resources and agreements. Governance as stewardship protects community interests; thus, is an ethical imperative for communities, especially native communities, to adopt.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / economics
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / organization & administration*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Financing, Government*
  • Government Agencies*
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Public Health
  • Racial Groups
  • Research Design*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States