The purpose of this study was to design, test and evaluate a community capacity assessment process within a Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) in conjunction with model development for enhanced primary health care (PHC) services in small rural communities. This paper describes the HCI planning process and community capacity assessment methods and tools, in the context of a small rural community that identified enhanced PHC as a key priority area. A PHC demonstration project was developed and a model integrating community action with the P H C team and the services they provide was created. It is the community action component of the model that we highlight in this paper in order to further knowledge development of strategies to strengthen community action. The key learnings from this study are threefold. The assessment process appears to: (a) be effective in raising awareness, stimulating dialogue, and fostering learning about community capacity (both on the part of community participants and outside professional helpers), (b) be promising in terms of helping communities take action to build capacity in targeted areas, and (c) provide a forum for integrating the HCI and the PHC project, thereby allowing equal attention to be given to primary health care service delivery and to strengthening community action.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Australian Journal of Primary Health - Interchange|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|