Journal Article

A partnership approach to health promotion: a case study from Northern Ireland

Deirdre Heenan

in Health Promotion International

Volume 19, issue 1, pages 105-113
Published in print March 2004 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online March 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dah111
A partnership approach to health promotion: a case study from Northern Ireland

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In recent years there has been a renewal of interest in community development and partnership approaches in the delivery of health and social services in Northern Ireland. The general thrust of these approaches is that local communities can be organized to address health and social needs and to work with government agencies, voluntary bodies and local authorities in delivering services and local solutions to problems. Since the Ottawa Charter was launched in 1986, government in Northern Ireland has stressed that community development should no longer simply be added on to key aspects of Health and Social Services, but should instead be at the core of their work. There is increasing consensus that traditional approaches to improving health and well-being, which have focused on the individual, are paternalistic and have failed to tackle inequalities effectively. Partnerships within a community development setting have been heralded as a means to facilitate participation and empowerment. This paper outlines the policy background to community development approaches in health promotion and delivery in Northern Ireland. Drawing on evidence from a case study of a community health project it highlights the benefits and difficulties with this approach. The findings suggest that partnerships can positively influence a community's health status, but in order to be effective they require effective planning and long-term commitment from both the state and the local community.

Keywords: community; empowerment; health promotion; partnerships

Journal Article.  4758 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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