Community Development through partnership: Promoting health in an urban indigenous community in New Zealand

This paper describes a formative and process evaluation of a community development partnership for health promotion between a health group and an urban Maori community in New Zealand.

Community development as a public health practice has been defined as the process of organising or supporting community groups in identifying their health issues, planning and acting upon their strategies for social action/change, and gaining increased self-reliance and decision-making power as a result of their activities because community development is about consciousness-raising and stirring people to advocacy and action, conflict is commonly part of the process.

Community development strategies echo the principles of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion in the importance placed on the participation of communities in defining and developing solutions to their own health problems.

Key issues encountered related to trust, prioritisation of health, and appropriate research paradigms. Most significant among these was trust, or more specifically, distrust among Maori engendered by historical and contemporaneous experiences of contact with Europeans. The recommended procedures were intended to illustrate how individual and community empowerment can be incorporated in the operation of partnerships. A basic premise of this paper has been that devolution of power is a key aspect of organisational process underlying successful partnerships and coalitions involving professional groups and indigenous people.

For further read of the article, click on this link Community Development through partnership: Promoting health in an urban indigenous Community in New Zealand

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