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Contents:


  1. Making the Sustainable Development Goals work for local communities everywhere
  2. An evidence-based framework on community-centred approaches for health: England, UK
  3. A Participatory Framework for Change
  4. Youth-led project for sustainable communities launches second phase in Asia
  5. Account Options

This approach holds the systemic linkages between all the SDGs at the heart of its reframe of climate change as an opportunity for transformational change towards diverse regenerative cultures, vibrant circular biomaterials economies and thriving communities everywhere. It is now up to all of us — members of the human family — to make up our own mind whether to get behind the guiding intention to co-create a more sustainable world that works for all of humanity and life.

Critiques point out that the process of arriving at the SDGs and the way the 17 goals and targets were formulated was influenced by stakeholders who are considered part of the neoliberal power elite. Their ancestors survived the first wave of imperialist colonization, only for subsequent generations to be submitted to an even more destructive form of economic colonization in the wake of neo-liberalism.

Unbridled economic globalization without the simultaneous strengthening of of local and regional economies, ecosystems and cultures has spread into the most distant reaches of the world, from the highlands of Ladakh to the forests of Borneo and the rainforests of Africa and Latin America. Many indigenous people have been further disenfranchised in the wake of the development agenda and many famers have been forced to stop the ancient practice of seed-saving that has helped humanity to maintain the biodiversity of food plants for millennia.

The win-lose zero sum logic of neoliberal economics structurally drives competition and exploitation of resources, ecosystems, and people — with destructive effects. In the light of this history, it is understandable that there is a degree of suspicion with regard to the a renewal of the international development agenda. In particular, since the UN and many of its member governments continue to be influenced by the powerful lobbies of big multi-nationals in the pharmaceutical, chemical, agri-business, financial, armament and fossil fuel industries, the skepticism towards the SDGs has to be accepted and worked with.

It is possible to critique the UN process and still get behind the vision of implementing the SDGs by ! Reorienting the UN development system so that it is fit for the Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals SDGs calls for a transition strategy far more ambitious than past attempts.

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Making the Sustainable Development Goals work for local communities everywhere

The time for them-against-us-thinking is over! We have to come together and co-create the future we want now! The Sustainable Development Goals represent a huge opportunity for all of us to collaborate as one species and unite behind a relatively simple — yet audacious — set of 17 goals. We might want to tweak the wording of some of the goals a little.

Nevertheless, it is relatively easy to agree that if we were to achieve widespread local, regional and global implementation of these 17 goals by , we would have come a long way towards making the world a better place. The SDGs are the result of the largest consultatory process ever held within the history of the United Nations.

This does give the Global Goals a certain legitimacy and grounding in participation. Now it is time to turn that agreement into commitment and action on the ground, community by community, and bioregion by bioregion. This is where the work of Gaia Education comes in! Since then, Gaia Education has steadily expanded its range of participatory community-focussed education programmes in support of local capacity building for sustainable development. By mid these course had reached more than 14, learners from countries.

The EDE curriculum syllabus describes the different subject areas that have been integrated to create a holistic and participatory approach to sustainable community design. The syllabus for this hour face-to-face course has been open-source from the beginning and the document can be downloaded for free in English, Danish, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Finnish and Chinese on the Gaia Education website.

After initially authoring the up-dated version of the Worldview dimension in , I had the opportunity to fundamentally up-date and partially re-write this curriculum in Participant numbers have more than doubled between and Here is what a participant had to say about the course:. Among the aspects of the programme which I valued the most are the curriculum and the way in which the dimensions interact and overlap with one another; the exposure to new ideas and others doing amazing work in the world; the interaction with people from other cultures.

The sense of the global shift and the fact that this is not a US-centric programme helped to expand my awareness. The holographic nature of the coursework — it is hard to put into words but I have not experienced this in any other learning programme — was a treasure! The case study really helped me to apply what I was learning. It also offers links to original sources, additional reading, videos, hundreds of images and useful websites.

These programmes teach communities in the front lines of climate change about agroforestry, regenerative agriculture and aquaculture skills to increase food sovereignty and food security, as well as, strengthen community resilience and improve social cohesion. You can read the personal blog posts of some of the participant here. In Denmark, Gaia Education is teaching asylum seekers the theory and practice they need to contribute to the creation of sustainable organic food systems.

Johnson believes that this speaks to the quality of their approach to caring for children. The immunization rate for adolescents in the same families is also high, at 82 percent. School attendance has improved, especially among children who have chronic diseases such as asthma. Johnson believes that performance has also been positively affected, but improvement has not yet been measured directly.

Every child in the school receives health education on drug and substance abuse, violence prevention, safety, general health, and nutrition.

An evidence-based framework on community-centred approaches for health: England, UK

The program goes into the classrooms and provides about 8, student health education encounters every year. Children with chronic illnesses, especially asthma, have shown improved health outcomes. Eight percent of the asthma visits to the clinic are children who are asymptomatic, a result of the very aggressive approach to manag- ing these children.

The program also improved the health outcomes for the children who are overweight. Since an after-school fitness and nutrition program was implemented several years ago, about 50 percent of the chil- dren have had a reduction in their body mass index BMI , and 40 to 50 percent of the children have had a decrease in their cholesterol level and fasting insulin level. A very important accomplishment, Johnson said, is the increased paren- tal involvement. The program has been able to impart to them the impor- tance of having an active role in the lives of their children, and families are.

A Participatory Framework for Change

As important as these program-based figures are, Johnson likes to measure success one child and one family at a time. Among the examples she cited were the ability to detect a brain tumor in a third-grader while it was in the early stage and treatable, the early detection of a genitourinary deformity in a 9-year-old child that was successfully corrected, and early detection and intervention of children with chronic illnesses such as asthma and diabetes.

In addition, through onsite counseling and support, the program has facilitated the recovery of many emotionally troubled children. This, John- son noted, is probably the most important aspect of the program as far as improving the outcomes for children. Unless you adjust the emotional aspect of the health of people, she said, you will not be able to make improvements in their physical health. In meeting needs and bridging gaps, Johnson concluded, the program has been able to increase access to health care, improve health outcomes for children and their families, decrease health care costs, and improve school attendance and academic performance.

The NPU system was established by Mayor Jackson in to ensure that citizens, particularly those who have been historically disen- franchised, would have a voice in the structure and development of their community. The ACHT program, Kreuter explained, engages the community in identifying their health issues, providing them with the methods, activities, and data to do so, and then identifying pilot programs to take action on those health problems.

The NDAG identified an unambiguous pattern of health, social, and environmental disparities in. Examples include physical or mental disability at twice the citywide rate; high school graduation at half the citywide rate; infant mortality at two and a half times that of white infants; owner-occupied housing at half the citywide rate; overweight among women at As described in the IOM report From Neurons to Neighborhoods: It is important to emphasize that early biological risk and insults, such as iron deficiency, often do not occur in isolation.

In fact, they typically are increased among infants who also grew up in a disadvantaged environ- ment. It can be exceedingly difficult to disentangle poor development and behavioral outcomes that are due to the biological exposure from those due to the problematic environment. IOM, , p. As described above, the community is burdened by a disproportionate number of health, social, and economic disparities. After receiving the NCMHD grant for the community-based, participatory research program, community health workers were recruited and trained, and collection of health information for NPU-V began.

One primary source of health information was medical records from Southside Medical Center. Records were reviewed to determine the most frequent diagnoses for NPU-V residents who presented at the hospital. The data showed that the neighborhood mirrors the national pattern for disad- vantaged populations, with hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and disorders of the skin, eyes, and teeth being the predominant complaints. Despite the marked differences in race and income, the differences in vacant housing were less dramatic, with 88 percent of houses in NPU-V occupied,. However, by , only 58 percent of the housing in NPU-V was occupied, with 42 percent of houses vacant.

Geographic information system GIS maps provided by the Georgia Department of Human Resources enabled the team to compare similar health problems in the two neighborhoods. In all three examples, the rates are higher in NPU-V. But notice the pattern, Longino said, when the incidence of breast cancer in females is compared between the neighborhoods Figure The incidence of breast cancer in NPU-V appears lower.

The different pattern was puzzling at first, Longino said, until it was determined that in this case, incidence reflects how many women were screened for breast cancer. Clearly, low rates of screening cor- respond to higher rates of mortality. The question to be answered next is if this low rate of screening is due to lack of knowledge about the importance or availability of screening, lack of access or transportation to screening, lack of insurance, or a combination of all of these things.

This approach is an effective alternative to focus groups. Each participant received a handheld device that he or she used to instantly and anonymously register his or her responses to questions. Everyone has an opportunity to respond, participants remain engaged throughout the presentation, and the tallied responses can be displayed in real time, spur- ring further discussion. Participants in the listening sessions, for example, were shown the GIS maps on breast cancer incidence and the data on mor- tality, described above, and were asked to provide instant feedback using the perception analyzer.

Eighty percent of the participants indicated that they were not aware of the disparity. As another example, residents were asked how many days during the previous month they would say their mental health had not been good. By comparison, only 12 percent of residents in a statewide survey indicated mental distress 14 days or more within a month. Social Determinants of Health In addition to collecting health data, the team sought to understand the social and environmental determinants of health, starting with the loss. Figure The first half of the s saw a steady increase in businesses in the community, peaking at businesses in NPU-V by the early s.

But between and , the community saw an 86 percent decline in the number of local businesses, with only 26 remaining in Leslie cited one photovoice submission from a 7th grader in NPU-V. Anybody from criminals to rapists could just walk in and make themselves at home. When I walk by this house on the way to school with my friends, it makes us worried, especially the little kids. This campaign also enabled the documentation and update in the percentages of vacant properties from 12 percent vacant to 42 percent vacant. Establishing Priorities and Pilot Interventions In August a community meeting was held to set priorities for NPU-V based on the health and social environment information collected.

Participants marked ballots with what they perceived to be the two most important local health issues and social determinants of health Figure Residents then voted a second time on a subset of items that received the most votes.


  • Cosmopolitanism (Key Ideas).
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Interest- ingly, the data from the Southside Medical Center presented by Longino earlier did not list mental health as one of the top 10 diagnoses stemming from hospital visits. The reason, Leslie said, is because the hospital does not screen for it. But based on their experience, the residents identified depres- sion and mental health as a top concern for NPU-V. After establishing the priorities, the NCMHD grant required several pilot interventions be undertaken. The first intervention was improving access to mental health services through a clinic-based strategy designed.

Is this problem or issue changeable? The second was the Dirty Truth campaign, mentioned above. Using the photovoice method as an advocacy and community empowerment strategy, the campaign was designed to improve the environment and housing problems factors that are known to influence depression and hopelessness through changes in local policies and enforcement practices. It pairs previously incarcerated individuals, male and female, with a resident sponsor who is willing to help them navigate through the system of job placement, job training, and so on.

Finally, during the listening session there were repeated references to residents using the system for health care. Analysis of emergency medi- cal services EMS data at Grady Memorial Hospital led to a 2-year pilot grant funded by the Healthcare Georgia Foundation to determine whether a strategy to make primary care services more available to NPU-V residents would result in a decline of EMS and services for nonemergency health needs. Challenges fall into two basic categories: community challenges and institutional university challenges.

For the community, a key challenge has been developing trust. A significant challenge at the institutional level is institutional review board IRB approval of interventions. Recall that this is community-based par- ticipatory research. Other institutional challenges include time-consuming processes, budget issues, benefits for community health workers, docu- menting intervention success, and the inability to fully specify all aspects of research up front.

Leslie concluded with advice for those who undertake the community- based participatory approach, from her perspective as a community health worker and NPU-V resident. Remember that we are people, not subjects or experiments, she said.

Youth-led project for sustainable communities launches second phase in Asia

Using the CCF does not necessarily require expert knowledge of research methods, but it does open the door for meaningful collaboration between researchers and community members where appropriate. The strengths-based focus of the CCF also provides added value to community change efforts by reframing the discussion.

Assets, on the other hand, foster positive community perceptions, empower community members, and start the process of planning for a better future. In South Rome, when all of the assets were combined, the impact on all of those involved in the process was substantial. It renewed a sense of hope to see such a long list of what is going right in the community and it helped them to take their first steps in building on those strengths.

Account Options

The stories, explanations, and experiences that accompany each asset are just as informative as the assets themselves. Finally, the CCF can be more than a tool for collecting primary data when it is integrated into a long-term planning and evaluation process. In South Rome, the continuation of this community-based research as an evaluation tool for the South Rome redevelopment initiative as a whole has been useful to shed light on how and to what impact community change has occurred.

The information collected through the workshops and activity books serves as a baseline for the South Rome community that will be repeatedly evaluated and assessed as the revitalization process continues. Tracking the changes in capital assets over time will present an informative representation of systems change in progress. By using the CCF in this way, community members can take an active role in understanding and enacting community change, from data collection to planning, to evaluation.

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