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The health planning approach and the community development approach


Comparing CBPR with Health Planning
Community-Based Participatory Research is often used as part of a particular form of health research called Community Health Assessment (CHA). CHA is research into the health-related conditions of a community. The community may be a neighborhood or city, or even a state or country, but it may also be a community of health workers in a hospital or a community of students in a school. The term community is very flexible! A CHA may be undertaken by a health department or a hospital to fulfill a legislative mandate, by a university or funding agency to understand a selected issue better, or by the community itself in response to an emerging health-related problem.
There are basically two different approaches to community health assessment: the health planning approach and the community development approach. These two approaches differ in who takes the lead when making decisions. The traditional health planning approach is considered more top down, in that professional experts make the key decisions. The community-development approach of which CBPR is one takes a more bottom up approach, in which community stakeholders make the key decisions regarding the research and development of health programs that will affect them directly.
For this weeks Assignment, you will start thinking about your Final Project the design of a Community Health Assessment using CBPR. For this preparatory step towards your Final Project, consider how CBPR is a bottom-up community organizing approach to community health research and how it differs from the traditional top-down health planning form of health research.

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To prepare:
Review Bracht (1999), Assessing Community Needs, Resources, and Readiness.
Review Minkler and Wallerstein (2008), Critical Issues in Developing and Following CBPR
Submit a 3- to 4-page account of how CBPR differs from traditional forms of community health research. Include:
Five elements of CBPR that differ from traditional approaches to health research in communities and an explanation of how they differ.
At least one example of how these five elements of CBPR can be applied.

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