Community development: Theoretical and practical issues for community health nursing in Canada

Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
Journal of Advanced Nursing (Impact Factor: 1.74). 11/1996; 24(4):719-26. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.1996.24810.x
Source: PubMed


Despite the importance currently given to community development as an increasingly significant role for community nurses, there is little analysis of the role in the nursing literature. This paper provides background information on the historical origins of community development work through an extensive review of the literature. As well, four models of community development are synthesised from literature in sociology, social psychology, education and political science. These include economic development models, education models both formal and informal, confrontational models, and empowerment models. Each is discussed, and the relevance for community health nursing practice is critiqued. Finally, issues which may arise when community health nurses attempt to practice within a community development model are discussed. Issues are examined related to the structures of organizations in which nurses work, characteristics of nurses themselves, and the communities which nurses serve. The argument is advanced that despite the pitfalls and problems, this new role shows promise as an important mechanism for community health nurses to promote the community's health. However, much additional work will be needed to test out models for community development in actual practice. Evaluation of the role will also be important to determine the degree to which it can be implemented and the resultant health outcomes for the population.

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    • "Christenson, Fendley and Robinson (1989: 14) define community development as " a group of people in a locality initiating a social action process (i.e. an intervention) to change their economic, social, cultural, or environmental situation " . To achieve community development, this group of people needs to actively participate in common practices and be committed to making decisions in cooperation with each other (Anyanwu, 1988; Chalmers & Bramadat, 1996). Recognising these requirements, the United Nations (cited in Midgley, 1986: 24) define community participation as " the creation of opportunities to enable all members of a community and the larger society to actively contribute to and influence the development process and to share equitably in the fruits of development " . "
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    ABSTRACT: The number of aid organisations, NGOs and government agencies pursuing the Millennium Development Goals and seeking to improve the everyday needs and social life of disadvantaged communities has been growing over the past decade. Particularly in divided societies, Sport-for-Development projects have increasingly been staged to contribute to intergroup togetherness, social cohesion and community empowerment. While the analyses of individual sport and event initiatives highlights their capacity to impact positively on people and groups, they do not provide strategic guidelines, models or frameworks for community empowerment. However, such models are needed to foster practical research in the area of community development that can inform sport and event planning, management and leverage. In an attempt to fill this gap, this paper presents and discusses the Sport-for-Development (S4D) Framework, which can be used to guide the strategic investigation of sport and event projects and their contribution to understanding and measuring direct social impacts and sustainable social outcomes for (disparate) communities. The S4D Framework presents a holistic yet flexible management tool that can take account of cultural heterogeneity and program diversity, while shaping implementation, directing evaluation, and encouraging future planning of development initiatives. To conclude, this paper suggests different ways in which the S4D Framework can be empirically tested and validated through both qualitative and quantitative research.
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    • "These forms of research have been important for raising questions about the social relations of research production, as discussed by Baxter et al. (2001). In NM&HV research there is a strong tradition of community-focused research, such as in community health development (Chalmers and Bramadat, 1996). Linked to community development is the concept of practice development, which has been described as having an ambiguous position in relation to both clinical practice and research (Clarke and Procter, 1999), but having a potentially 'transforming power' on practice (Stainton et al., 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: In the UK policy recommends that service users (patients, carers and the public) should be involved in all publicly funded health and social care research. However, little is known about which approaches work best in different research contexts and why. The purpose of this paper is to explain some of the theoretical limitations to current understandings of service user involvement and to provide some suggestions for theory and methods development. This paper draws upon findings from a review of the research 'evidence' and current practice on service user involvement in the design and undertaking of nursing, midwifery and health visiting research. A multi-method review was commissioned by the NHS Service Delivery and Organisation (SDO) Research and Development Programme. The timeframe was April 2004-March 2005. The full report (Ref: SDO/69/2003) and supplementary bibliography are available from: REVIEW METHODS/DATA: Initial searches of the health and social care literature and consultations with researchers were used to develop a broad definition of the topic area. A service user reference group (26 members) worked with the project team to refine the scope of the review, to set inclusion criteria and develop a framework for the analysis. Systematic searches of the literature were undertaken online and through library stacks (345 relevant documents were identified). Ongoing and recently completed studies that had involved service users were identified through online databases (34 studies) and through a national consultation exercise (17 studies). Selected studies were followed up using telephone interviews (n=11). Members of the service user reference group worked with the research team to advise on key messages for dissemination to different audiences. Information was gained about contextual factors, drivers, concepts, approaches and outcomes of service user involvement in nursing, midwifery and health visiting research, as well as developments in other research fields. Synthesis of this information shows that there are different purposes and domains for user involvement, either as part of researcher-led or user-led research, or as part of a partnership approach. A number of issues were identified as being important for future research. These include: linking different reasons for service user involvement with different outcomes; understanding the relationship between research data and service user involvement, and developing conceptualisations of user involvement that are capable of accommodating complex research relationships. Suggestions for the development of practice include: consideration of diversity, communication, ethical issues, working relationships, finances, education and training. Because research is undertaken for different reasons and in different contexts, it is not possible to say that involving service users will, or should, always be undertaken in the same way to achieve the same benefits. At a research project level uniqueness of purpose is a defining characteristic and strength of service user involvement.
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