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What is CHODARR?

CHODARR stands for Community Health Online Digital Archive and Research Resource which is a publicly accessible virtual library of community-based and government publications. It is a permanent, catalogued and full-text online archive of grey literature and research materials related to health and social welfare policy. The CHODARR archive includes documents that are not normally published by commercial publishers. Most of the materials in the archive are produced by community organizations, community-based researchers, or government agencies, and include (but are not limited to): newsletters, annual reports, research reports, community-based project proposals, informational pamphlets, posters, brochures, artwork, training manuals, conference papers, and government publications.

A Brief History of CHODARR

The digitization project, as CHODARR was then known, began in 2005, and grew out of a collaboration between the Health and Home project led by Dr. Dara Culhane and the Health and Research Methods Training Facility (HeRMeT) led by Dr. Cindy Patton. The CHODARR project, as it now exists, launched in mid 2006 as a collaborative project led by community-based researchers at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in partnership with community organizations and the SFU library. Since partnering with a variety of community organizations, numerous materials related to housing, gender, women’s health, Aboriginal issues, HIV/AIDS, drug use, and mental health have been catalogued and archived.

One of the goals of CHODARR is to improve health and social welfare research and advocacy by providing researchers and social justice advocates a place to share and preserve the knowledge they produce. A second goal of the project is to create a space to archive the histories and stories of different community groups doing social justice work in and around Vancouver.
On a practical level, the CHODARR project was imagined as a space to:

• advocate for the right to access the knowledge we create

• locate government documents so current policies can be compared to past policies

• access work being done in and across communities

• locate previous policy and community-based research to inform new projects and prevent duplication