COSORI was founded in 2021 to deliver on the following mission: “to promote the combination of social, economic, environmental, cultural, and political conditions that are essential for community wellbeing and flourishing through nonpartisan research, policy analysis, communications, and advocacy.”
With this mission at the forefront of our thinking, COSORI has established four ‘pillars’ of activity – research, policy, advocacy, and communications.
We engage in multidisciplinary research collaborations to systematically address different layers of flourishing that could lead to policy changes and have broader and more holistic implications for community well-being. Our research approach involves employing methodologies that provide the highest quality evidence about the effectiveness of community wellbeing interventions that promote the kinds of connectedness, liveability, and equity that cultivate community flourishing. Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard for evaluating the effectiveness of an intervention and establishing evidence of causation, but using such an approach in community wellbeing research may not always be feasible.
One option that has yielded valuable insights into the effectiveness of our community wellbeing intervention is the randomized encouragement design. When larger-scale evaluations of effectiveness are necessary (e.g., community level), a nonrandom treatment assignment design (e.g., multiple baseline design) could be used. If the potential benefits of different types of community wellbeing indicators are not well known, other research designs that provide a reasonable approximation of causality (e.g., longitudinal observational studies with propensity score matching) are used in determining whether specific behaviors could be targeted to influence wellbeing outcomes of interest.
We use robust research methodologies to assess the effectiveness of our community wellbeing interventions over time by making use of metrics that are sensitive to the extent of change anticipated. If larger-scale interventions are implemented, layered measurement approaches may be necessary to evaluate effectiveness at different levels of potential impact. For example, interventions that target entire communities will benefit from the measurement of the individual and community-level metrics that correspond with the areas in which post-intervention changes are expected. Our research aims to gather evidence that supports the overall community wellbeing process and requires continuous modifications to remain relevant and effective over time. We ensure that our research agenda aligns with and addresses community objectives that are developed to track the quality of flourishing at different levels of society.
Cutting-edge policies that cater to the above research priorities would help foster community wellbeing. Policies that build on the notion of community wellbeing could have important benefits for people who are vulnerable to the myriad challenges that are faced by many communities, both in the context of a global crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic or more generally (e.g., natural disasters). By illuminating connectedness, livability, and equity as part of the fabric of community wellbeing, our view is that these factors have provided an opportunity for policymakers at different levels within societies (e.g., cities, states, countries) to explore policy options that harness them to accelerate post-pandemic recovery and positively transform post-pandemic life on earth. Our policies are tailored to address this gap to ensure that we build connected, liveable, and equitable communities.
We take seriously public communication of our research and findings through media press releases and events. This communication process helps us to strengthen our existing networks and build new partnerships.
As research advocates, we ensure that communities understand scientific information and findings that may help them build connected, liveable, and equitable communities. We bring context-based perspectives to our research and implement culturally-appropriate models of community wellbeing that are relevant for respective cultures.