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Section 10. Using Internet-Based Tools to Promote Community Health and Development

What do we mean by using Internet-based tools to promote community health and development?

You use Internet based tools:

___To learn how to do the work.

___To gather information.

___To communicate with others.

___To distribute educational or other information to participants.

___To conduct business.

___To engage in advocacy.

Why use Internet-based tools to promote community health and development?

___They give access to knowledge and information to everyone.

___They make it possible for people to change their lives and communities themselves.

___They help to distribute power and control more equitably throughout societies.

___They help to combat ignorance and misinformation (as well as disinformation - the intentional lies that governments, corporations, institutions, and other entities sometimes tell in order to keep control or to protect their own self-interest).

___They make it easier for people to understand how they can effect social change, and therefore to be more willing to attempt it.

___They give people models to follow.

___They put people concerned with health and community development in touch with one another.

___They increase the ease and effectiveness of advocacy, particularly for those who might otherwise have no voice.

___They can ease access to elected and appointed officials.

___They can help to assure the accountability of those officials and of oversight bodies.

___They can shorten response time to community emergencies or to addressing community needs.

___They encourage and facilitate collaboration among individuals and organizations at all levels.

Who should use Internet-based tools to promote community health and development?

___Professionals and professional organizations.

___Grass roots and community-based organizations.

___Larger nonprofits and initiatives.

___Community activists.

___Political activists.

___Participants in and beneficiaries of health and community service organizations and initiatives.

___Students in disciplines related to health and community services.

When should you use Internet-based tools to promote community health and development?

___When you want to build the community's capacity to solve its own problems.

___When you're starting a program, initiative, or other effort with little  information.

___When you need to communicate with a large number of people (and decide or embark on an action) quickly.

___When you need to learn about or understand laws or regulations.

___When you need information for a grant proposal or other funding possibility.

___When you want to get your own message out, or set up a place where everyone involved in your organization or effort or issue can communicate.

The logic behind the Community Tool Box as an Internet-based tool for the promotion of health and community development.

Guiding principles:

___An organization's vision, mission, and philosophy should all be consistent with one another.

___Almost any effort will benefit from a participatory process.

___Ethics are important.

Components of health and community development, with their respective core competencies:

___Understanding the context of the work and collaborative planning

  • Creating and maintaining coalitions
  • Assessing community resources
  • Analyzing community-identified problems and goals
  • Developing a framework or model of change
  • Developing strategic and action plans
  • Building leadership

___Community action and intervention

  • Developing an intervention
  • Increasing participation and membership
  • Enhancing cultural competency

___Community and system change

  • Advocating for change
  • Influencing policy development
  • Evaluating the initiative

___Widespread behavior change and improvement in population-level outcomes

  • Implementing a social marketing campaign

___Sustaining the effort

  • Applying for grants
  • Improving organizational management and development
Phil Rabinowitz