Collaborative Learning Through Global Partnerships: Student-Led Community-Engaged Research

  •  Jennifer Harsh Caspari    
  •  Jessica Ern    
  •  Mariela Bahena    
  •  Karen Herrera    
  •  Maxine Notice    


Public health research in an international setting demands a framework that encourages collaboration between investigators and their host country during the planning stages of the research project and throughout its execution phase. The aim of the current project was to develop a needs assessment with rural Nicaraguan communities. The Community Oriented Primary Care model, which promotes commitment to partnerships and sustainability, was used to guide the needs assessment and research process. A multidisciplinary team of students traveled to three rural communities in Nicaragua to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment, focused on risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In this paper, the authors highlight the experience, challenges, and facilitators experienced by this team of students during the global health research process. Findings indicate using the COPC model as a guide afforded the research team with the opportunity to assess community needs, from community member perspectives, as a first step toward partnering with the community to develop appropriate future intervention projects.

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