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Short course “Driving social changeand improving health and wellbeing: An introduction to systems resilience” organised as a part of Menorca School of PublicHealth 30th Anniversary.
Dates: 23 to 25 September
Where: Llatzeret de Maó, Menorca, Spain
Course facilitators: Jennie Popay and AnaPorroche-Escudero
The concept of resilience is typically presented as aproperty of individuals, communities, organizations or service sectors such asthe health system. Resilience is understood to be the “capacity to endure,adapt and generate new ways of thinking and functioning” in the context ofchange, uncertainty or adversity. As evidence of the negative impacts of globalrecession on social and health inequalities accumulates, health policy attentionhas turned to the question of how the resilience of communities bearing thebrunt of these inequalities can be enhanced. As a consequence, there is agrowing call to focus on a systems resilience approach.
There are two typical approaches to enhancingresilience in community medicine and public health. At one end of the spectrumthe focus is on self-empowerment and ‘do it yourself’ initiatives, enablingcitizens to act for themselves. At the other end of the spectrum, problemsolving is characterised by hierarchical decision-making where those at the topdetermine the priorities. In this course we will look critically at why thesedominant approaches to resilience in community medicine and public health areproblematic and how they may risk increasing health inequalities. We willexamine how work on resilience has failed to engage with issues around powerinequalities, control and socio-commercial and political determinants of healthand their links with health and disease.
The course will introduce the concept of systemsresilience that emphasises releasing the capacities of all the actors,institutions, objects and processes within a neighbourhood system. Participantswill reflect what a systems approach might offer to health and wellbeing,individually and collectively. At the end of the course participants will bebetter equipped to become an agent for change in population health.
How will you learn
The course is interactive and participatory andincludes theoretical and conceptual and experiential learning. Teaching methodsinclude presentations, discussions, hands-on exercises, case studies andgroupwork. Prior to the course you will be asked to think of a specific projectyou are working with and its relationship to the concept of system resilience.
The course comprises the following sessions:
Day 1. Buildingresilience awareness
In this session we will introduce the concept ofresilience. Participants will consider ways in which resilience is affected byissues of power and control.
3. What is resilience?
4. Individual resilience, community resilience
5. Power inequality and social, commercial andpolitical determinants of health
6. Resilience, power and control
Day 2.Approaches to resilience in public health and policy
This session presents a number of approaches tobuilding resilience from diferent parts of the world. It analyses myths, factsand impacts of each of these on health inequalities. We will also introduce theconcept of systems resilience.
Day 3.Strategies for building systems resilience
The activities in this session are designed to supportworkshop participants to use their analytical skills and adquired understandingof systems resilience to analyse, design, and evaluate projects and/orinterventions that have the potential to contribute to reducing inequalities inhealth. In this session, participants will use the Health InequalitiesAssessment Toolkit (http://www.hiat.org.uk/) to assess risk of increasinginequalities and to consider how to design projects and/or interventions in away that have greater potential for more people across the social gradient.
At completing this course you will be able to:
1. Gain a deeper awareness and understanding of diferent meanings ofresilience in relation to public health and community health.
2. Understand how (em)power(ment) and “control over destiny” areinfluenced by the social, commercial and political determinants of health.
3. Understand how power inequality and “control over destiny” affectshealth and disease, individually and collectively.
4. Explore the implications of dominant approaches to resilience forhealth inequalities.
5. Become familiar with the concept of systems resilience.
6. Be able to identify steps, tools, methodologies and stakeholders toenhance system resilience.
7. Be able to apply these considerations to analyse, design and evaluatesystem-based projects and interventions with greater potential to impact uponmore people across the social gradient.
This workshop is appropriate for graduate students,postdoctoral fellows, researchers, a wide range of professionals includingpolicy makers, healthcare professionals, commissioners, donors, social changeagents, charity and voluntary sector workers and anyone interested in promotingresilience.
More information about the course and Menorca Schoolof Public Health here: http://www.emsp.cime.es/Publicacions/llistat.aspx?tipo=CU&portada=SI
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