Article Type

Reflection Article/Manuscript


The purpose of this article is to advance an understanding of a key philosophical underpinning that is necessary for projects to become authentically community-based, that is, an epistemology that is “participatory.” This theory of knowledge has critical importance for realizing Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) in regions around the world. To demonstrate the significance of participatory epistemology in CBPR, this article examines and rethinks traditional CBPR approaches through a community-based lens, presents a critical understanding of the link between CBPR theory and practice, and offers a perspective to move beyond the typical theory-practice debate. The central message for future community-engaged scholars is that a particular epistemological stance sustains the entire CBPR operation. With this insight, they should be able to gauge accurately the progress of a project and act in concert with a community.