Community Glossary

Community Glossary2024-02-27T12:13:15-05:00

The Indiana CTSI aims to make research as accessible and community-friendly as possible, so we’ve compiled a list of key terms and definitions to help define and explain some common phrases you may come across on our website and when working with us on projects. See also: Research Glossary

Community engagement is “the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting the well-being of those people.” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Community Engaged Research (CEnR) is a framework or approach for conducting research, not a methodology. It is a collaborative process between the researcher and community partner that creates and shares knowledge and creative expression with the goal of contributing to the research field and improving the well-being of the community. (Virginia Commonwealth University). CEnR allows researchers to strengthen the links between research and practice and enhance translational results.

Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) is a collaborative research approach that starts with a topic of importance to the community. The research process involves all partners equally and recognizes the strengths that each partner brings. CBPR strives to combine knowledge with action to achieve social change and improve health. (WK Kellogg Foundation Community Health Scholars Program). This is the most recognized form of Community Engaged Research.

Digital divide is defined by the economic, educational, and social inequalities between those who have computers and online access and those who do not.

Health equity exists when all people have the chance to thrive and no one is limited in achieving comprehensive health and wellness because of their social position or any other social factors/determinant of health (income, education, race/ethnicity, sexual identity, and disability). (ASTHO, 2011)

Health inequity exists when health outcomes differ across different groups of people such as food availability, education, and working conditions.

Program sustainability is the ability to continue a program and its benefits long-term. This is impacted by environmental support, funding stability, partnerships, organizational capacity, program evaluation, program adaptation, and communication. (

Policy, Systems and Environmental (PSE) Change seeks to go beyond events or programs and into the systems that create the places in which we live work and play. It targets populations rather than individuals and tries to uncover approaches to make a sustainable impact. (The Food Trust, 2012)

Public health works to protect and improve the health of communities through policy recommendations, health education and outreach, and research for disease detection and injury prevention. (CDC)

Reciprocal innovation is the bi-directional and iterative exchange of a technology, methodology, or process between at least two countries, one lower or middle income country and one high income country, to address a common health challenge and provide mutual benefit to both sides.

Social determinants of health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health outcomes.

Social justice is justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. (Oxford dictionary)

Structural determinants of health include the governing process, economic and social policies that affect pay, working conditions, housing, and education. (Illinois Department of Public Health)

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