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Section 12. Documenting Health Promotion Initiatives Using the PAHO Guide

Introduction: What is health promotion?
___Health promotion is “a process of enabling people to increase control over their health.”

___Health promotion is a way of thinking and working that considers the continual advancement and maintenance of individual and population health to be integral to the functioning of a community.

___Health promotion focuses on the social determinants of health as well as on specific health issues.

___Health promotion is

  • Population based
  • Participatory
  • Intersectoral
  • Context-sensitive
  • Multi-level

What is the PAHO Guide for Documenting Health Promotion Initiatives?

___The Guide is a seven-part questionnaire, asking for information about your effort.

___The Guide’s purpose is to create a mechanism for the documentation of health promotion initiatives

Why should you use the Guide?

___Using the Guide will contribute to a data base that will advance the field of health promotion.

___Contributing information through use of the guide will allow you to connect with others in the field, both in your own and other countries.

___By involving participants in data collection through participatory action research, you can empower participants in your initiative, and engage them in learning new skills.

__ Use of the Guide will result in a careful analysis of your effort, help you to better understand your strengths and pinpoint areas to improve, and thereby make your work more effective.

___Using the Guide can help you get a new perspective on your effort, and come up with new ideas.

___By documenting your effort through the Guide, you’ll get your work published on the PAHO website, and perhaps in an international journal as well.

___Using the PAHO Guide will enable you to describe the accomplishments of your effort and raise your profile in the community and with funders and other supporters.

___By participating in the use of the Guide and documenting your work, you can help to ensure that health promotion and the healthy community concept become integral to the idea of community health.

Who should use the Guide?

___The Guide is intended for use by any individual, group, or institution conducting an initiative, intervention, or program aimed at the promotion of health or healthy communities in the Americas, including:

  • NGOs (non-governmental organizations) or CBOs (community-based organizations) engaged in health and/or human service work
  • Local, state or provincial, or national health or human service agencies
  • Ministers or Secretaries and ministries or departments of public health at all levels
  • Community health activists
  • Healthy community initiatives
  • Faith communities
  • Health Impact Assessment teams
  • Environmental groups
  • Individuals or organizations concerned with providing affordable housing for marginalized individuals and families, including those who are homeless
  • Those working to change environmental conditions (provide or help people gain access to clean drinking water, for instance) in order to eradicate disease

How do you use the Guide?

___Answer all the questions and fill out the charts, thinking carefully about each one.

___Use the resulting description to:

  • Submit to PAHO, in order to contribute to the documentation of health promotion efforts in the Americas.
  • Gain recognition and credibility in the field.
  • Inform the community or region about your work.
  • Analyze your program, determining where changes need to be made, what areas should be emphasized and strengthened, and where additional resources are needed.
  • Pass on what you have learned – about both what works and what doesn’t – to others who can then replicate (reproduce) your work.
  • Present a successful effort as an example of a best practice or best process.
  • Convince funders of the effectiveness or potential of your work.