Talk in Equality
We are very grateful to our Community Development Worker contractor, Lillian Ndawula, for the amazing work completed on behalf of EMIC and our BAME communities on the Reaching Out programme led by NIHR, a project which explored how health and social care research could be improved for our communities. Together with Dr. Anusree Biswas Sasidharan, Director of Bridging Change, Lillian has work tirelessly on the Talk in Equality Podcast and Blog, which highlighted the main existing issues and, respectively, identified potential solutions in effecting health and social care research within ethnic minority communities.
More details to be found here: BLOG: Talk In Equality (nihr.ac.uk)
The first episode of the Podcast is also attached at the bottom of this page.
To quote on the main ideas: A key conclusion was that there was an absence of trust between researchers and their organisations on the one hand, and community organisations on the other. There was little or no research where communities were involved in a meaningful way; in particular, a lack of involvement with community development organisations who have ongoing relationships with the local communities. As a community development organisation, we have existing relationships, a better understanding of cultural sensitivities and access to racialised minority communities. It was disappointing to us that when research organisations approached us, we were expected to comply and work as unpaid connectors and often with no consultation with us as local experts within the community.
Reflecting on the conversations we have had we have identified three key things that the world of research could do to address health inequalities for ethnic minority groups:
1) Research funders should encourage researchers to reach out to and develop relationships with community organisations – these relationships are fundamental to building trust and ensuring our ongoing inclusion in research.
2) Researchers should recognise that communities know what issues are important to them and researchers should seek the involvement of communities right from the beginning of the research – as they start to formulate their proposal.
3) Research funders and researchers should build the research capacity within community organisations to enable us to carry out research within our communities.
Thank you again, Lillian, and many thanks to NIHR and all our Ethnic Minority partner organisations from Surrey and Sussex! Looking forward to collaborate further in bringing more effective health and social care research within ethnic minority communities!