Municipal public health planning needs representational skills within the community

Zoe Murray

Abstract


Abstract

 

Municipal public health planning (MPHP) endeavours to enhance community participation in public health decision making. A study of community participation of municipal public health planning projects in Queensland, Australia highlights that while community participation is an important element of the planning, the focus is also on developing mechanisms to ensure inter-sectoral collaborations and placing public health issues on the agenda of decision makers. With modest funding and the breadth of these focuses, MPHP is limited in directly supporting disadvantaged groups in the community to engage in participatory activities. The challenge can be to engage all the relative perspectives of the community, particularly if it is typical of a group to demonstrate non- participation in whole of community group activities. Success in the area of engaging with target groups was found by having the time and project staff to identify and access an advocate or advocacy forum to represent a voice for the group. This highlights the importance of representative and advocacy roles in the community.

 

Key words: public health, community participation, community advocacy, health planning, municipal


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