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A Model for Building Collective Capacity in Community-Based Programs: The Elderly in Need Project

Authors

  • Alwyn Moyer Ph.D, R.N.,

    1. Alwyn Moyer was a Community Nurse Specialist with the Ottawa-Carleton Health Department, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and a Principal Investigator with the Community Health Research Unit, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, during the project. Currently, she is a part-time Professor, University of Ottawa School of Nursing, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Marjorie Coristine was a Research Assistant with the Community Health Research Unit, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, during the project. Currently, she is a Research Coordinator at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Lynne MacLean is a Research Associate, and Mechthild Meyer is a Research Assistant with the Community Health Research Unit, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, during the project.
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  • Marjorie Coristine M.A.,

    1. Alwyn Moyer was a Community Nurse Specialist with the Ottawa-Carleton Health Department, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and a Principal Investigator with the Community Health Research Unit, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, during the project. Currently, she is a part-time Professor, University of Ottawa School of Nursing, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Marjorie Coristine was a Research Assistant with the Community Health Research Unit, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, during the project. Currently, she is a Research Coordinator at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Lynne MacLean is a Research Associate, and Mechthild Meyer is a Research Assistant with the Community Health Research Unit, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, during the project.
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  • Lynne MacLean Ph.D.,

    1. Alwyn Moyer was a Community Nurse Specialist with the Ottawa-Carleton Health Department, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and a Principal Investigator with the Community Health Research Unit, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, during the project. Currently, she is a part-time Professor, University of Ottawa School of Nursing, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Marjorie Coristine was a Research Assistant with the Community Health Research Unit, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, during the project. Currently, she is a Research Coordinator at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Lynne MacLean is a Research Associate, and Mechthild Meyer is a Research Assistant with the Community Health Research Unit, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, during the project.
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  • Mechthild Meyer M.Ed.

    1. Alwyn Moyer was a Community Nurse Specialist with the Ottawa-Carleton Health Department, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and a Principal Investigator with the Community Health Research Unit, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, during the project. Currently, she is a part-time Professor, University of Ottawa School of Nursing, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Marjorie Coristine was a Research Assistant with the Community Health Research Unit, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, during the project. Currently, she is a Research Coordinator at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Lynne MacLean is a Research Associate, and Mechthild Meyer is a Research Assistant with the Community Health Research Unit, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, during the project.
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Address correspondence to Alwyn Moyer, 9 Centrepark Drive, Gloucester, ON K1B 3C2, Canada.

Abstract

As the focus of health promotion moves from individuals to organizations, communities and broader social policy, the models that guide public health program planning and development need reexamination. Public health nurses are gaining experience in strengthening and supporting the ability of communities to grow and change. This study aimed to illuminate the process. Data, gathered as part of an action research project to develop individual and community-based strategies to decrease isolation in frail older adults, provided a rich source of qualitative data. Analysis was directed toward identifying the factors and processes of capacity-building. The emerging model was clarified and partially validated with academics and practitioners from health promotion programs across the age span. Four stages of building collective capacity were identified: identifying common ground, working cooperatively, working in partnership, and working across the community. At each stage, processes of relationship building, project management and capacity-building resulted in stage specific products. A model of building collective capacity, grounded in community health practice and supported by the literature provides a base for developing practice indicators, and practice guidelines which will strengthen the ability to reach health goals.

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