Building Effective Research Partnerships in the Field of Violence Against Women: Guidance Informed By Decades of Collaboration

Friday, January 16, 2015: 8:00 AM-9:45 AM
Balconies M, Fourth Floor (New Orleans Marriott)
Cluster: Crime and Criminal Justice
Tami P. Sullivan, PhD, Yale University, Bethany L. Backes, PhD, MSW, MPH, National Institute of Justice and Enna Khondkaryan, LMSW, Yale University

In the late 1990’s literature was abundant on researcher-practitioner (R-P) partnerships focused on violence against women (VAW) issues. This scholarly work was critical as among other things, it emphasized the importance of partnering and informed the development of future partnerships. Federal agencies have acknowledged the importance of researcher-practitioner partnerships and the involvement of the practitioner throughout the research process—from formulating research questions and accessing data to advising a study as it progresses and helping to ensure practical perspectives in the analysis of data and report writing. Such partnerships have frequently been encouraged in solicitations for research. Despite these efforts there continues to be a need for intentional activities that capture and build on previous work on partnerships and that provide opportunities for creating, enhancing, and improving criminal justice researcher-practitioner partnerships.

Furthermore, our understanding of the development, sustainability and reciprocity of such collaborations is limited.  Given (1) the potential for R-P partnerships in the violence against women field to influence policy and practice, and (2) funders interests in projects conducted collaboratively, additional research is needed on VAW-focused partnerships. As a result, the National Institute of Justice funded the Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Study (RPPS), a mixed methods study, documenting lessons learned from researchers and practitioners who have partnered successfully on violence against women research to provide an evidence base for the development or promotion of future partnerships. 

Using audio, video, and written products stemming from the RPPS, this roundtable will provide participants with a greater understanding of: 1) assessing the need for a researcher-practitioner partnership; 2) issues inherent to the development of collaborative research partnerships in the violence against women field; 3) balancing the interests of researchers and practitioners throughout the process; 4) methods for disseminating and translating results that are useful and beneficial to researcher, practitioner, and policy audiences; and 5) sustainability of partnerships. As a result of this roundtable, participants will be able to identify essential elements to consider at the outset of developing a researcher-practitioner partnership; and participants will be able to identify facilitators of and barriers to successful researcher-practitioner partnerships.

Presenters will use completed and ongoing research projects to elucidate both lowlights and highlights of researcher-practitioner partnerships.  Included in the panel discussion will be the oft-faced ethical dilemmas and concerns associated with experimental and quasi-experimental designs in the study of violence against women. In addition, federal funding programs supporting such collaborations will be highlighted.  Finally, participants are encouraged to bring their own questions and ideas for researcher-practitioner partnerships that can be used as guiding examples and/or to receive feedback for the development or enhancement of such collaborations.

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