Bridging Health & Community
Bringing Purpose To Community Engagement


Fostering Agency to Improve Health

Over the last six years, we’ve explored what health means to communities and how it can be created. Our focus has been low-income communities in high-income countries. Part of the work has been to understand why health care is struggling to meet the needs of these communities.

Through our work we’ve observed twelve commonalities across the many projects we’ve spent time with. We call them the 12 Principles. They describe an inclusive and participatory approach. We’ve learned that such an approach has the potential to foster the ‘agency’ of a community – its ability to influence its circumstances. Agency is core to having a sense of control, something that is fundamental to health.

Health care needs to embrace the 12 Principles. To facilitate that, we’ve created an application tool. But six years of research, an eBook, a tool and even a national symposium are not enough to bring about change. And so, in 2019 we’re looking into building a ‘learning cohort’ of five health care organizations who’ll implement the Principles and share the experience so that we’ll uncover the realities of change.

It may take us a few months to build the cohort. If you’re interested in participating, drop me a line. In the meantime, we won’t send as many updates as we used to. But you can still sign up for them so you’ll get news about how the cohort is developing, as well as some wider musings.

And you can learn more about why I think the cohort is the right next step in the last part of my recent five-part series.


Dr Pritpal S Tamber MBChB

Founder, Bridging Health & Community

On behalf of the Bridging Health & Community Team