Makueni County is one of the poorest counties in Kenya, with high levels of poverty. Mental illness is poorly documented and managed. There is a relatively well-developed mechanism for involving community members in development plans and budgets from village to county level, but focused more on visible areas of infrastructure. This case study describes processes used to build community awareness and collaborative community systems to raise and respond to the needs of people with mental disorders and bring their issues to the attention of formal planning.
This case study reports on the experience of community participation in Ngāti Porou Hauora (NPH), an indigenous health service provider in New Zealand serving a rural population of indigenous descent. Māori culture is alive and highly visible in the area. The case study highlights that participation is more likely to be sustained when designed and embedded within the cultural practices and belief systems held by the community, than when it arises primarily as a functional need of the health service. It also shows that beyond improvements in areas of service coverage, social participation has often changed service priorities from being largely (or completely) clinically focused towards social and cultural components.
In Aberdeen City, Scotland, people who are ‘working poor’, unemployed, dependent on state welfare or homeless are at greater risk of food poverty that others in the community. A 2015 Community Empowerment Act (Scotland) mandates co-determination involving communities in all sectors. This case study presents the work of two social enterprises involving those affected by food poverty as peers and volunteers: in pathways to employment in a café and community food outlets; in training activities to support employment; and in providing spaces for ‘social suppers’ to eat, meet and obtain skills and support for benefit claims, housing and healthcare. Two rounds of participatory budgeting by the local council provide community grants for such initiatives and generate participatory decision-making around these resources.
Since 2001 Pomurje region, Slovenia, has implemented participatory, intersectoral co-operation of stakeholders for investment in health and development, with a focus on agriculture, tourism, health and environment. This case study describes how an intersectoral regional action group (RAG) involves community associations, health and other sectors and promotes health as a contributor to development and development processes. Actions such as green procurement, healthy tourism, and promotion of active mobility link participation in decision-making to participation in health and economic activities, with improved outcomes in both areas.
This case study tells the story of participatory approaches used in urban Lusaka for priority setting, planning, budgeting and health action by communities and frontline health workers in local health committees and through community health literacy. The work has sustained and spread due the social power and confidence built within communities from participatory reflection and action, support by committed health system champions and a horizontal, rather than top down, spread; with forums for sharing of experience.
This case study tells the story of sustained participatory approaches used by the Wan Smolbag (WSB) Theatre, a non-profit organisation based in Vanuatu, since 1989, to raise awareness of health and social issues, promoting an indigenous presence in contemporary theatre and film. WSB uses a participatory approach to developing the scripts and content for plays, radio, or television, together with workshops and publications; using creative media as a focus for youth centres, in a way that provide spaces for nutrition and reproductive health services, literacy and computer classes and for a range of sporting activities. These processes build individual and community capacity for change in a long-term commitment to poor communities through youth centres and outreach services in agriculture and nutrition.