Community-based Participatory Research Center (CBPRC) was established in 2007 to provide the necessary requirements to do health research “with the community” not “on the community”, and to make the research topics more and more compatible with the real needs of the society. Improvement of collective decision making of different stakeholders in the research process; developing indigenous methods and techniques of participatory research and empowerment in order to increase the required capacity for identification, prioritization, designing and implementing multi-level interventions among the people, academicians and institutions; improving equity in health research, people’s participation and inter-sector collaboration to tackle social determinants of health are among the main goals of the CBPRC.
Community-based participatory research approach aims to fill the equity gap and achieve a fair distribution of resources and power among different stakeholders through providing solutions for encouraging participation and involvement of community and other stakeholders in public, private and non-governmental sectors, establishing a balance of power between the partners, empowering vulnerable groups to control over social determinants of health and establishing healthy public policies. Capacity building among vulnerable groups and related organizational and non-governmental organizations has been always a priority at CBPRC.
The foundation of inequity in health is based on poverty and differential vulnerability in exposure and outcome as well as unequal distribution of resources and power. This center, relying on a bottom-up approach and the participatory research principle emphasizing strengths rather than defects, has attempted to provide a redefinition of poverty into capability poverty among vulnerable groups in society, so that the empowerment resulting from engaging in various stages of research leads to self-esteem, recognition of abilities and increased social capital and influential power in different sections of the community. Furthermore, the collaboration of various sections of the society contributes to the promotion of support structures to reduce vulnerability, provide the deliberate community with more choices and in one word “further development”.