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Community development in health: a literature review

Publisher(s):

Health Empowerment Leverage Project

Publication year:

2016

This literature review offers a brief background to the current state of play in the NHS and statutory services, and ideas that services more flexible, place-based services are likely to offer more effective and efficient outcomes. It then provides an overview of the nature of community development, its relationship to community health and to enhancing the responsiveness of commissioning of services. It brings together evidence which shows how communities can be supported to develop their own strengths and their own trajectories of development. It also examines the health benefits of community engagement, and identifies the limitations of some studies and where evidence that suggests poor outcomes or risks. It looks developing a business case, and what is already known of costs and benefits of community development. It finds that although it is difficult to express costs and benefits of community development in monetary terms, some effective techniques do exist. The evidence shows that community development helps to strengthen and increase social networks and therefore build up social capital. Evidence shows that they to contribute significantly to individual and to community health and resilience. Existing data also suggests that community development in health is cost-effective and provides good value for money. The review includes definitions of community development and key related concepts, including as asset-based approaches, co-production, social networks, social capital, and community capital. (Edited publisher abstract)


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