Community-Driven Health-Impact Assessment: A Promising PATH for Promoting Community Learning and Social Responsibility for Health

Community-Driven Health-Impact Assessment: A Promising PATH for Promoting Community Learning and Social Responsibility for Health

Maureen Coady (St. Francis Xavier University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8358-7.ch112
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

Highly participatory local health impact assessment processes can be used to identify and encourage practices and policies that promote health. They also foster community learning that can increase a community's capacity to improve local conditions for a healthier community. This chapter examines a Community-Driven form of Health Impact Assessment (CHIA) practiced in rural Nova Scotia, Canada since 1997. Experience suggests that informal learning in these processes is often transformative; ordinary citizens learn to identify factors that influence their health, to think beyond the illness problems of individuals, and to consider how programs and policies can weaken or support community health. They learn that that they can identify directions for future action that will safeguard the health of their community.
Chapter Preview
Top

The Healthy Public Policy And Health Impact Assessment Context

Successive global health promotion agreements, most notably the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (WHO, 1986) and the Jakarta Declaration on Health Promotion into the 21st Century (WHO, 1997), have advocated building healthy public policy as a key action front for global health development. A healthy public policy is a policy that increases the health and wellbeing of those individuals and communities that it affects (Kemm, 2001). It is oriented to the future state of health, to multiple small-scale solutions, and to the involvement of individuals and the local community in those solutions (Hancock, 1985; Mittelmark, 2001). The emphasis is on refocusing a preoccupation in public policy with the existing sick care system, to a focus on creating health (Hancock & Minkler, 2002). The development of healthy public policy relies heavily on adult learning; it recognizes that people know a great deal about what affects their health, and can be involved in planning action to improve individual and community health and wellbeing (Coady, 2009). A recent report of the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (WHO, 2008) reinforces that healthy public policy—focused on improving the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age—is now more important than ever.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset