Morgridge Center authors lead US analysis in new UNESCO report

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has never shied away from being an international leader in community-university partnerships.

A new landmark report on community-university research partnerships from the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) features a critical analysis of practices in the United States from two University of Wisconsin-Madison authors.

Morgridge Center for Public Service Assistant Director Elizabeth Tryon was the lead author on the analysis of research partnerships between universities and communities beyond campus in the United States. The 19-page chapter was co-authored by Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies PhD student Dadit Hidayat as well as Loyola University Chicago Professor Philip Nyden.

The open-source report, Strengthening Community University Research Partnerships: Global Perspectives, was released in August 2015 by UNESCO’s Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education.

The goal of the project was to develop “cutting-edge analysis of contemporary academic practice and innovative collaborative methodology.”

“The hope for its impact is that it helps communities around the globe who work with universities to design and use academic research to inform public policy,” Tryon said. “And to enable those of us engaged in research and research partnerships to evaluate our procedures and look towards developing even more improved processes in the future.”

In addition to an overview of community-university research in the United States, Tryon’s chapter includes case studies on UW-Madison, Loyola University Chicago and the Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, based in Seattle.

Tryon has collaborated with UNESCO co-chairs on several initiatives in the last decade, including past articles and conference presentations on democratizing knowledge and research. She has also served on the steering committee for the Global Alliance for Community-Engaged Research.

Because the report is open-source, the full publication is available for free download.