The VOICE Research Project is built on a Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach. A fundamental component of this approach is community engagement. In the VOICE ResearchProject, community engagement is found in our network of community circles. At the local level, a community circle is the driving force and main decision-making body concerning the VOICE Research Project in the community. The community circle is made up of local individuals and members of the VOICE Research Team members. These circles represent either geographic communities or regions or communities of interest.
Community circles are the most important governance and management structure of the VOICE Project. Each community circle has discussed and signed off on the VOICE Research Project Community Protocol which sets out processes that will be responsive to community-based objectives and achieve the main research objectives of the VOICE Project.
Currently, the VOICE Research Project includes 8 established community circles representing FNMI communities or communities with high populations of FNMI people. The Youth Community Circle represents a community of interest and is comprised of FNMI youth from across Manitoba. Each community circle has identified community-based indicators of success for children and youth and 2-3 success pathways to achieve success. Each success pathway also involves research, knowledge mobilization activities and actions for sustainability. Each community circle is also involved in the action research activities connected to the success pathways.