Recommendations for community driven drug policy research
In Spring 2022, Drug Policy Alliance, Urban Survivors Union, and the Network of Drug Researchers with Lived Experience co-hosted a four-part virtual series “Beyond participatory based research: Innovations in community driven drug policy research.” The sessions were designed to encourage drug researchers to think critically about their relationships with people who use drugs and people impacted by the drug war. They were intended to provide drug researchers with tools to conduct community driven research (CDR) and authentically co-lead research with impacted people through every phase of the research process. CDR not only makes research better by strengthening research questions, methods, analyses, and dissemination; it can also serve as an organizing tool, helping to galvanize people to change policies and practices.
CDR’s success necessitates creating a space where people do not feel bound to the traditional binary of the “researcher” and “researched” (Simon et al. 2021). The following recommendations aim to support you in creating an environment where all people are empowered; feel belonging in the research process; and can explore and own their positionalities, identities, and lived experiences: