Conceptualising Community Partnerships for Community Health Development
Partnerships or coalitions are the most widely used public health strategy to promote citizen participation in public health. However, where the ‘community’ as a unit of identity is involved with the health and other community sectors in community health development a conceptual framework to assist participants maximise the effectiveness of partnerships is unavailable. This paper presents a preliminary framework deduced from an extensive literature search in the social sciences and public health, about the key constructs that should be used in examining community/health sector partnerships. The constructs are - (1) partnership type - contributions, instrumental, empowerment or developmental, (2) motivations for partnerships, and the (3) key partnership elements, community participation, knowledge sharing, and bridging social ties. These constructs consistently appear in respected health promotion frameworks and each of the constructs has been researched extensively in health and the social sciences. But rarely have the constructs been used in combination to better understand and theorise about partnerships with communities of place to bring about effective community involvement in the design, delivery, evaluation, and uptake of community-based health initiatives and services.
Keywords: Community Partnership, Community Health Development, Conceptual Framework
Dr. Judy Taylor
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Rural Health and Community Development, Spencer Gulf Rural Health School/UniSA/Adelaide University