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Research Examples

You have started to learn directly from some community advocates. There’s much more of that to come in later sprints. But we also believe that it is useful to be aware of what some of the academic research says about working for and with a community to advocate for positive change – in this course, this encompasses the terms ‘community advocacy’ (often used in the U.S.A.) and community organising (often used in the U.K.).

Your task is to read the research we have selected below. These address the benefits of community advocacy and community organising, as well as some of the features of effective community advocacy and organising. Have a look at the page numbers that we’ve asked you to read, as we’ve tried to limit the reading to the most relevant sections possible. Reading all of these will be necessary when reflecting on and critiquing the research in later sprints.

Of course, if you are interested, then we would encourage you to read all pages in the articles – though this is not an expectation.

You can either download your articles from the hyperlinks in the green Action Boxes, OR you can download the files from below the Action Boxes. If the links don’t work then the files will.

<strong>Christens, B. D. and Speer, P. (2015), ‘Community Organizing: Practice, Research, and Policy Implications,’ Social Issues and Policy Review.</strong>

This article scrutinizes the evolving field of community organizing, with a particular focus on the current state of social and psychological research on broad-based community organizing processes and outcomes. These findings include not only the effects of community organizing efforts on policies and systems, but also the influences of community organizing on psychological changes among the people and groups who participate. These findings are incorporated into recommendations for policies, practices, and future research.


Stoecker, R. (2013), ‘The Community Development Context of Research’, in Research Methods for Community Change: A Project-Based Approach. Read pages 52-56

This reading looks at how community advocacy and community organising contribute to community development in lower and higher income countries around the world. Pages 52 to 56 provide a very useful overview of what the research says on ‘Principles of Good Practice’ when it comes to community development, i.e. working with and for communities to make the changes they want to see. Play close attention to this section as there will be questions on this in the quiz.


Schiavo, R. (2020), ‘<strong>Advocacy, community engagement and cross-sectoral collaborations as key strategies during COVID-19 response and beyond</strong>’, Journal of Communication in Healthcare.

This article gives a very useful overview of the importance of advocacy and working with the community, particularly in healthcare, during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Royea, A. J. and Appl, D.J. (2009), ‘Every Voice Matters: The Importance of Advocacy’, Early Childhood Education Journal.

This article makes the case for the importance of advocacy and including all voices, particularly in regards to improving children’s lives.