The Healthy Community Development Program can offer a high level of expertise and services to the community.
The IMAGINE Primers
We have worked very hard to capture some of our best ideas and resources to put in your hands. The primers comprise of a series of books on various aspects of our population health work. Originally, these books were designed for staff within Northern Health, to encourage and support them in adopting a population health approach to their work. We have also found them to be useful to community partners, so, by popular demand, we are sharing them here with interested community members as well. The primers demystify the concepts of population health and community development, and clearly explain the need for a shared, whole of society, approach to improving health outcomes.
Workshop design and delivery
Community groups do very good work, but may occasionally run into obstacles that threaten their capacity to serve the community effectively. There may be a need for developing a strategic plan, or building skills and capacity among board volunteers or staff, or there may be a crisis or point of conflict that threatens to derail work already underway. The Healthy Community Development team has the skills to help design workshops that introduce and ground population health principles and the best of the drive and passion expressed by the group. Woven together, these custom designed workshops have been very successful at harnessing and focusing the passion and drive of community energy and helping groups to chart a course for the continued good work.
In some cases, community energy and drive needs an outside support to help get things started in a solid way, or to help shift direction. Allowing all members of a community or group to be able to participate and contribute to planning and decision making requires a skilled outsider with tools and approaches that frame and support community needs in a good way and set planning processes up for success. Facilitation services support community members, or an organization’s staff, board and volunteers to come together in ways that allows everyone’s voices to be heard and everyone’s best skills and intentions to flourish.
Research and Consultation
Northern Health has a Research and Evaluation Department that supports Northern Health programs and practitioners in undertaking effective and useful evaluation work. In Healthy Community Development, our research work is geared toward supporting the evaluation of community based programs. Evaluation is often seen as an intimidating and burdensome requirement imposed by funders who want to ensure they are receiving good value for the funds they have invested. We believe that evaluation, done well, can produce multiple outcomes, enabling solid and relevant reporting on activities and achievements for funders and other communication purposes, as well as good direction for planning, increased teamwork and collaboration, empowering and inspiring reflection and contributing towards the building of community history.
This type of evaluation has many names. It is sometimes called Participatory Evaluation, Action Evaluation, Empowerment Evaluation, or Community Based Evaluation. It is well suited to community based and front line service provider work because of its potential for multi-tasking. For people and groups with limited time and scarce resources, multiple outcomes from one activity make the most sense. Most of these methods also put every step of an evaluation in the hands of the people most involved in the work.