Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona

Contact Information

FY 2018 Community Conversations Research

Executive Summary

The University of Arizona Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA) and Master's in Development Practice Program (MDPP), in partnership with the Community Food Bank (CFB) of Southern Arizona, will implement community-based participatory research in Tucson, AZ to investigate the local meanings and manifestation of social isolation, social cohesion, and civic engagement and support local efforts to reduce isolation and increase engagement. We will focus in four neighborhoods as residents and leaders participate in a structured organizing process moving from one-to-one interactions through planning and action and will support the groups as they identify local problems, develop plans, acquire resources, and undertake activities to foster community interest and commitment to resolving the problems. We will document the goals and challenges of individuals, organizations, and networks seeking to address community-identified concerns; examine how social cohesion is built or maintained by individuals, institutions, and organizations; and evaluate the effectiveness of specific strategies for encouraging and strengthening civic engagement and participation to address local issues. We will use multiple mechanisms identified during the project to share and reflect on findings.

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