CBPR Model History

The CBPR Conceptual Model was developed in 2008 by a national multi-institution community-based participatory research (CBPR) collaboration to provide a visual framework of the contributions of community-academic partnership processes to improve systems, policies, community capacities and health equity outcomes. Over time, through validating and testing the Model, community-academic partnerships have found it to be useful as a guide for their own evaluation and collective reflection about how to strengthen partnering practices to achieve their desired outcomes. We recognize the CBPR Conceptual Model as an alive and dynamic complex system with feedback loops of changing practices over time. As a guide, rather than a static two-dimensional framework, we encourage partnerships to assess the importance of distinct Model constructs and to add their own so that the Model is relevant to their specific projects and partnerships. We welcome an opportunity to exchange ideas and learnings about how other partnerships are using the CBPR Model for their own evaluations, adapting the constructs to their own settings, or creating new versions of the Model. Through the links below, please find several models that have been adapted, with a brief description of their partnerships and how they plan to use their new versions. We believe this Model would best be considered as dynamic and able to be transformed so that it can be most helpful to partners.

Please contact us if you would like to share your Model and projects, or would like technical assistance in creating your own partnership evaluation.

To start the process of using the model as a planning tool or to identify relevant constructs for your own partnership evaluation, see Visioning Guide (and put link to the Visioning Guide on the About E2 page) and Power Point (put link to the powerpoint on the About E2 page).

See other models:

Teeth Tales: A Children’s Oral Health Project in Australia

Healthy Rochester Community Partnership: A Partnership between Mayo Clinic and Cambodian, Latino, and Somali communities


The national collaborative team (Center for Participatory Research, University of New Mexico; and the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, University of Washington), with advice from a national committee (or Think Tank) of academic and community CBPR experts, built the model through multiple stages:

1) Interdisciplinary literature reviews of collaborative and community-engaged research (Wallerstein et al., 2008); and measurement instruments and constructs (Sandoval et al., 2011; Pearson et al, 2011);

2) Internet survey of the appropriateness of potential partnering and outcome constructs to ~ 100 CBPR projects; and expert consultation with community and academic CBPR practitioners;

3) Creation of Conceptual Model with four dimensions: Context (such as socio-economic, cultural factors; funding and policy trends; level of trust/mistrust; salience of health issue); Group Dynamics (i.e., structural factors, such as agreements; and relational factors, such as decision-making and leadership); Intervention and Research (ie., fit of design within community and cultural knowledge frames); and Outcomes (impact on systems, policies, and capacities; and health and health equity outcomes).

4) In-depth focus groups with primarily community partners of six academic-community research partnerships working with ethnic/racial minority populations (4 local; 2 national) to assess face validity and acceptability to community members. Focus groups identified four cross-cutting constructs: development of trust; enhanced capacities of both community and academic partnerships; mutual learning and dialogue: and need to address unequal power dynamics towards a more equitable shared power structure (Belone et al, 2015).

5) NIH-funded mixed methods cross-site research (2009-2013), with an additional partner, the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center, to test the CBPR conceptual model and its four dimensions across a wide variability of federally-funded community engaged and CBPR research projects. Methods used were two internet surveys (~200 partnerships) and seven in-depth case studies (Hicks et al, 2012; Lucero et al, in press); (see cpr.unm.edu for quantitative and qualitative instruments and guides)

6) Development of psychometric validation of partnering process and outcome scales (Oetzel et al, 2015).

7) Development of a set of emerging best or promising practices with analyses of the associations between select partnering practices and partnership outcomes (Duran et al, in process).

8) Translation of model into Spanish and Portuguese and interest by the International Collaborative of Participatory Health Research (ICPHR.org) for other translations and use;

9) Current use of the model as an Evaluation and Collective-Reflection Tool for partnerships to identify and assess their own practices, areas to strengthen, and strategies to improve their effectiveness to achieve desired outcomes.