Bridging Health & Community
Improving Health Through Community Agency

The Field

Fostering Agency to Improve Health

There is a varied landscape of innovations seeking to bridge the health sector and local communities. Each of them is all the more powerful and effective when changes are community-endorsed.

The innovations are defined by: 

  • the values that drive them, such as social justice or health equity
  • the mental models being tested, such as value-based health care, positive health or salutogenesis
  • the value being sought, such as resilience, social capital or social cohesion
  • their processes, such as community organizing or community development
  • and their structure, such as collective impact, systems integration or cross-sector collaboration

Through our work we have observed how the innovations that sustain are the ones derived through an inclusive, participatory and responsive process. 

Changes only sustain when they are community-endorsed 

This requires an inclusive, participatory and responsive process

Which, in turn, builds agency, helping to improve health

The Field of Practice 

The field is defined by the process. We have identified 12 guiding principles, which were published in our March 2017 report, Fostering Agency to Improve Health (see our the 12 Principles page for more). 

Fostering community agency is not a new field of practice. But it's new to many working health. It will require them to adopt, and adapt to, new ways of working. The 12 principles help to make this shift. 

We aim to grow the field of practice by building an agnostic and intellectually rigorous space in which innovators seeking to foster the agency of communities can share, learn and embolden each other.