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Walk With Me: A Community-Engaged Research Response to the Drug Poisoning Crisis

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Contributor: Mahoney, Tara
The Walk With Me project emerged in 2019 out of a need to address how the drug poisoning crisis was effecting small cities in B.C. We began by collecting stories and insights from people impacted by it in Courtenay, B.C., a small city on the east coast of Vancouver Island.
After gathering stories and walking with those impacted by the drug poisioning crisis, we brought these stories forward within various ‘domains of influence’ with our advocacy work and policy report, Walk With Me: Uncovering the human dimensions of the drug poisoning crisis in small B.C. communities.
Walk With Me has illuminated a powerful role for community-engaged research (CER) in spurring political and policy change in relation to the negotiation of complex community crises. As Levac and colleagues (2022) describe, taking up the principles of CER (reciprocity, relationship-building, capacity building, community expertise, democratizing knowledge, bridging disciplinary and sectoral boundaries) in policymaking processes can position marginalized community members as policy actors with important expertise to contribute. The inclusion of these often-silenced voices can produce new forms of evidence, and reveal new policy solutions by deepening understanding of the complexity of policy problems, and of the kinds of transformation necessary in securing viable solutions. The inclusion of these voices can also decentre the state as the sole author of policy change.
This is a publication of SFU's Community-engaged Research Initiative (CERi).
ISBN: 978-1-77287-102-9
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Copyright is held by Simon Fraser University.
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WALK-WITH-ME-FINAL2023.pdf 12.06 MB

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