Community Change in Public Health

This course examines the community context of the changes needed to promote the public’s health.


Johns Hopkins Open Education Lab

Duration: 5 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week

Language: English

About the Course

In bringing about behavior change in public health, we should not forget the community structure and norms constrain for encouraging individual health behaviors. This course examines the community context of the changes needed to promote the public’s health. Community Directed Intervention has subsequently been successfully applied to providing essential primary health care services by and in the community, such as insecticide treated bednets, malaria treatment, vitamin A distribution, deworming medicines, and pneumonia and diarrhea case management.

During the course we will:

  • examine the various definitions of ‘community’ and the processes by which we ‘diagnose’ or seek to understand the structure and characteristics of different types of communities;
  • identify community capacities and resources’ study different practical and philosophical approaches to change;
  • recognize the need for communities to participate in the design, implementation and evaluation of any intervention;
  • examine the concept of participation in an effort to see how different levels of involvement may affect sustainability of community change efforts and see a case study of a community participatory approach to onchocerciasis control in Africa.

After listening to, viewing, and studying the course materials, you will:

  1. Provide a definition of community
  2. Identify community components, characteristics, and typologies
  3. Outline and explain the components of a community diagnosis
  4. Explain the concept of perceived community/collective efficacy
  5. Outline and describe the community competency model
  6. Explain Rothman’s model of community change
  7. Note relationships of Rothman’s model to other change models
  8. Describe the levels of the political economy model
  9. Give examples of a political economy interpretation to health problems
  10. Define the concept of community coalitions
  11. Identify the role of community participation in the Alma Ata Declaration
  12. Provide examples of the effect of participation on program outcomes
  13. Describe how coalitions can address urban health problems
  14. Describe the levels of participation along a continuum
  15. Distinguish between community-based and community-controlled programming

To find out more/enrol, please visit the course page.