Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 1.22.17 PMTo enhance the capacity of academic institutions and communities to function as effective research partners, NC TraCS partnered with the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP), UNC’s CDC-funded Prevention Research Center (PRC), and community partners to develop an innovative community engagement consulting model, Charrettes, to provide consultation and technical assistance to strengthen community-academic research partnerships and accelerate translational research. This partnership provides the opportunity to harness and leverage the academic expertise of UNC and community partners who have worked with UNC for years.

What is a Charrette?

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 1.22.24 PMA Charrette is a collaborative planning process that harnesses the talents and energies of all interested parties to create and support a feasible plan that represents transformative community change. The goal is to accelerate research while providing technical assistance to enhance the design, implementation and dissemination of community-engaged research. While Charrettes is relevant for partnerships at any stage of development, it is ideal for partnerships that may be early-stage, stalled, or in need of a strengthened approach.

We have held 14 Charrettes in North Carolina and shared the model through seven cross-CTSA/PRC collaborations with academic institutions and their community partners at Vanderbilt University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Northwestern University, Emory, Morehouse College, The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and The University of Iowa. We have also provided ongoing consultation and technical assistance with the Lehigh Valley Health Network. The Charrettes process is a useful, effective stakeholder engagement consulting model and it has been incorporated into multiple NIH, PCORI and Foundation grants. See this link to hear the perspective of academic investigators and Community Experts who provide consultation and technical assistance through CBPR Charrettes

What Kinds of Questions do Charrettes Address?

How do we engage stakeholders in the research process? How do we formalize a governance structure? What are effective strategies for communication?
How do we build research capacity of community partners? How can research partnerships navigate conflict? How do we disseminate findings to stakeholder audiences?
How do we develop a Community Advisory Board? How can meetings be structured to optimize engagement? How can we sustain stakeholder interest once funding is over?

Who are the Experts Who Provide Technical Assistance?

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 1.23.04 PMCommunity Experts

–Represent diverse communities

–Leaders of community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, advocacy groups

–Extensive experience using CBPR to address health topics/disparities

Academic Experts

–Long-term partnerships with diverse communities

–Senior investigators

–Extensive experience using CBPR to address health topics/disparities

CBPR Charrettes

For more information on Charrettes, contact Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD, Assistant Director for the Community Engagement and Partnerships Core at