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Table 3 Results: KSDPP’s evolution in terms of movement-building benchmarks

From: Understanding community-based participatory research through a social movement framework: a case study of the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project

Stages /Core components Base building and mobilization Leadership Vision and frames Alliances, partnerships, networks Advocacy agenda and action strategy
Stage 1 – KSDPP’s emergence (Early 1987 – mid-1997) Benchmarks - Participation of both paid and volunteer leaders is beginning in base-building organizations;
- Reflection time and assessment are built into the movement activities
- Movement leaders and the roles they play emerge and are recognized within the movement;
- Leaders are supported to develop their skills, roles and visibility
- A process for creating a shared analysis of the problem is developed;
- Movement organizations develop strategic plans with explicit movement goals;
- Alliance anchors increase organizations capacity;
- Capacity for collaboration is developed
- Needed skills and organizational capacities are identified and developed
Evidence of achievement - Kahnawake community leaders and elders start to mobilize and seek the collaboration of academic partners.
- The Community Advisory Board (CAB) is formed with more than 40 volunteering people, representing a wide spectrum of local organisations, services, and the community at large.
- All the partners take the time to collectively develop the project’s vision and the terms and conditions of the partnership.
- Community leaders, including elders and family physicians that raised the alarm about diabetes, invite academic researchers to join the partnership for their expertise in community research.
- The intervention team is staffed by two full-time community members, chosen for their leadership in the community. These staff members can acquire new skills and enhance their competencies through formal training.
- In the early beginnings, a community awareness process allows to shift the perception of diabetes from a matter of fact to a community issue that can be acted on.
- After acquiring funding, the partnership defines a shared vision that proposed an ideal for Kahnawake and lays the ground for strategic goals.
- The terms and conditions of the participatory research process are collaboratively developed through a Code of Ethics.
- KSDPP developed from the alliance of community-based professionals coming from the Kahnawake Education Centre and the Kateri Memorial Hospital Centre, as well as researchers from McGill University and Université de Montréal.
- The newly formed CAB included volunteers from multiple sectors of the community, that increased capacity for collaboration with local health, education, recreation, and community service organisations.
- Formal training in various areas for community and staff members develop new skills and increased capacities.
- KSDPP provided opportunities for community collaborators to acquire new skills (e.g. new health curriculum delivered by the teachers).
Stage 2 – KSDPP’s coalescence (mid-1997 - 2000) Benchmarks - New leaders are recruited;
- New members and constituencies are recruited and the base expand
- Collaborative leadership philosophy is widely adopted by movement leaders;
- Leaders of the movement are respected for their different roles and responsibilities within the movement
- Movement leaders develop shared values, motivations, and interests;
- Movement values and priorities begin to gain salience outside of the movement
- Number, breadth, and capacity of alliances are strengthened;
- Joint strategic planning and identification of priorities among anchor organizations occurs;
- Trust is built among alliance members
- Identification of collective action goals;
- Collaborative fundraising and sharing of resources increase
Evidence of achievement - Important community leaders (the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, Kahnawake Shakotiia’takehnhas Community Services, and the Kahnawake Education Center) commit to KSDPP and provide funds to enable KSDDP’s action.
- Teachers began to be more comfortable with the new curriculum and are committed to the cause of KSDPP.
- KSDPP implements a participatory /collaborative and non-hierarchical style of governance.
- Respectful relationships of collaboration are established between partners.
- KSDPP translates its vision into a full and workable action strategy that build and integrate traditional and cultural values.
- The fact that community partners provide funds to KSDPP is a good indicator of KSDPP’s values and priorities being accepted and prioritized by community actors.
- At that time, half of activities are conducted by KSDPP independently whereas half result from collaborative partnerships between KSDPP and partners.
- Community members and organisations bring in their knowledge of the community, and contribute ideas on how best to carry out the activities in which they are involved.
- Trust and respect characterize the relationships with the education system.
- The intervention team establishes core of intervention activities and develops a good experience in implementing these within the community.
- Collaboration allows partners to optimize community resources, share responsibilities and support each other’s efforts.
Stage 3 – KSDPP’s moment (2001–2006) Benchmarks - Power and leadership of the movement are recognized by the community base;
- Movement experiences rapid recruitment and growth
- Movement leaders are recognized by public institutions and political institutions - Public support of the meta-narrative increases;
- Political will for movement goals significantly increases;
- Proposed benchmark: Increasing dissemination of the program vision and goals
- Movement organizations share resources;
- Movement builds relationships with other movements;
- Proposed benchmark: Movement enlarges its scope
- Major initiatives advance and are implemented;
- Proposed benchmark: Collective action reaches a peak
Evidence of achievement - During this stage, KSDPP benefits from deep community roots and recognition.
- Kahnawake is recognized as a diabetes prevention leader among First Nations communities across Canada and internationally.
- KSDPP secures funding to develop the KSDPP Center for Research and Training in Diabetes Prevention, this acknowledging KSDPP experience, expertise and leadership in this field.
- KSDPP staff and research team members are elected at important positions in national diabetes and international research networks.
- KSDPP becomes more active and extensively spread its vision locally and nationally through participation in national forums addressing diabetes and health issues for Indigenous people.
- The newly created Onkwatakaritatshera health research council acknowledges KSDPP’s CAB as a valid and autonomous ethics authority for diabetes research prevention and adds KSDPP’s code of research ethics to their toolkit.
- KSDPP’s program of activities, already collaborative in nature, continues to build on partners’ strengths, allowing to increase both the reach and intensity of the program.
- KSDPP’s program expands to include preschool children and engages adolescents in youth empowerment projects.
- Partnerships with local organizations broaden to include local businesses.
- KSDPP’s collective action strategy reaches a peak, building on a core program of activities that has achieved maturity and the addition of other activity components.
- More than 100 different interventions target individuals of all ages, families, organizations and political groups.
Stage 4 – KSDPP’s maintenance and integration (2007 - now) Benchmarks - Proposed benchmark: Mobilization slows down and the movement appears less visible - New generation of leadership emerges and builds capacities - Norms change and the vision becomes widely shared among public and political leaders - Proposed benchmark : Capacity-building of the partners allows for transfer of responsibilities - Movement’s priorities and advocacy agenda are more widely accepted and continue to drive agendas of movement organizations and partners
Evidence of achievement - Decrease in resources, coupled with a lack of novelty, rendered KSDPP less visible.
- Community mobilization slowly decreases.
- Some administrative environments in the community become less sensitive to KSDPP’s action.
- A new generation of leaders in different components of the partnership, including KSDPP staff and research team, is slowly emerging. - The vision promoted by KSDPP (a healthy community free of diabetes) and the norm underlying this vision (diabetes is a preventable disease) are adopted by many community members. - Community partners are now taking over some of the responsibilities initially held by KSDPP (e.g. school physical activity policy, active school transportation project). - KSDPP’s agenda is integrated into those of some partnering organisations, such as schools.