Community Research Alliance (CRA): Capacity Building
The Community Research Alliance (CRA) is an alliance of community-based organizations and academic or other research partners that engage communities and organizations in equitable relationships to conduct research, evaluation, and associated activities that address and resolve health related disparities.
The infrastructure for the CRA was developed through a series of pilot activities funded by the University of Connecticut School of Medicine through its then Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS). Through this early project, the Institute for Community Research, working with a group of community-based organizations and university faculty, developed curricula to train community organizations in principles of community-based research, community university research partnerships, clinical trials, and research ethics (2010-2012). In 2013 and 2014, we formalized the Community Research Alliance (CRA), a group of 19 community based and local government organizations and interested in improving community-university relationships and forging research partnerships to confront health related inequities.
In 2016 the CRA restructured. It now consists of a governing 12 member Steering Committee, representing a diverse group of community organizations and university faculty, with two co-chairs. It is managed by a coordinator based at the Institute for Community Research. This position is funded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and through new collaborations, membership and donations.
• Build the capacity of communities, CBOs, public and academic institutions to forge partnerships that balance power, share resources, and work towards system change through research
• Ensure that community priorities to address disparities drive the research agenda
• Use the knowledge, wisdom and research/evaluation experience of CRA partners to examine, act on, and solve pressing health, social, environmental, and economic challenges