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International Community-University Research Alliance

The International Community-University Research Alliance (ICURA) is a five-year, CA$8 million research program that supports research teams working to improve the quality of life in communities in Canada and around the world. Each team is composed of Canadian and international researchers, as well as community leaders. The result: research that truly responds to the needs of communities. 

IDRC co-sponsors this unique program with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

ICURA Projects
Managing Adaptation to Coastal Environmental Change
A research team from Trinidad and Tobago and Ottawa, Canada are developing adaptation strategies to help coastal communities cope with sea-level rise and storm surges.

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How can protected areas be designed to equitably yield the greatest benefits and reduce human-wildlife conflicts in Canada, Ghana, and Tanzania? Researchers, government agencies and communities are joining forces to find solutions to this complex issue. 

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Pathways to Resilience: Services and support for youth
How are young people living in difficult environments able to thrive? This is the question investigated by researchers from China, Colombia, South Africa, and Canada. The goal: design formal and informal support programs that work for at-risk youth.

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Working together, investigators from Brazil and Montréal, Canada are examining how patients can be better involved in governing mental health services.

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The research

Each team, through a process of ongoing collaboration and mutual learning, is fostering comparative research, training and the creation of new knowledge in areas of shared importance for the social, cultural or economic development of communities in Canada and in low and middle income countries (LMICs).

The specific objectives of the ICURA program are to:
  • enable research teams from Canada and LMICs to undertake comparative and collaborative research;
  • promote sharing of knowledge, resources and expertise between postsecondary institutions and organizations in the community;
  • enrich research, teaching methods and curricula in universities;
  • reinforce community decision-making and problem-solving capacity; and
  • enhance students' education and employability by means of diverse opportunities to build their knowledge, expertise and work skills through hands-on.

Expected outcomes

ICURA aims to:

  • foster new knowledge, tools and methods to develop the best strategies for intervention, action research, program delivery and policy development that will be appropriate for our rapidly changing times; and
  • develop new capabilities, sharpen research priorities, provide new research training opportunities, and enhance the ability of social sciences and humanities research to meet the needs of communities.

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Search ICURA's research results in the IDRC Digital Library
Knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve the lives of people in the developing world
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