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Section 17. Addressing Social Determinants of Health in Your Community

Tool #1: Sample Partnership Principles

Within our partnership, we have decided that partners must agree to adhere to the principles outlined below. These principles are based on the premise that all members seek, as a partnership, to create initiatives that build on the unique strengths and assets of the local community. To do so, all partners agree to respect the beliefs and cultural norms of others and to build trust and mutual respect to ensure that programs will be maintained and enhanced over time. The principles that guide our work are as follows:

We are committed to equity, collective decisions, and collective action.

  • Knowledge originates and resides in all members of a group.
  • All partners are encouraged to participate in all phases of the process.
  • Information is shared among all partners.
  • Differences in interpretation are addressed with respect for all partners.
  • Efforts are made to ensure that the language used is heard and understood by all partners.
  • Partners will recognize and honor that each partner brings different assets and different needs to the partnership.

We are committed to high-quality, ethical initiatives.

  • We are committed to ensuring that no harm, including emotional and physical harm, is done to anyone affected by the initiative.
  • We are committed to full and total disclosure of all information related to risk.
  • Informed consent protects the initiative partners and participants as well as the affected community.
  • Confidentiality will be maintained.
  • Partners agree to act in a manner that is respectful to other partners, to the community, and to the organizations they represent.
  • Partners will obtain appropriate human subjects review or approval prior to the collection of qualitative or quantitative data.
  • Partners will obtain approval from the partnership to use data or publish findings.

We are committed to addressing social inequities that affect health, including those that constrain the meaningful participation of individuals and communities in the decision-making process.

  • We are committed to processes that foster inclusion and will work against all forms of exclusion, such as racism, sexism, or homophobia.
  • We are committed to ensuring all partners have an opportunity to participate in local governance, such as membership on city councils or school boards.

We will maximize opportunities for learning within the local community and associated organizations.

  • We encourage shared leadership (i.e., decision making, meeting facilitation, direction and management of the partnership).
  • We encourage shared input into the development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of partnership initiatives.
  • We will actively seek financial and other resources that can benefit the community. This includes working with local partners to develop applications for funding.

Tool #2: The Basics of Media Advocacy

The Tool Box includes a whole chapter (Chapter 34) on this topic. The essential strategies of media advocacy include:

The basic steps of a media campaign:

  • Decide on goals of your media campaign. Some possibilities might be public education, generating resources for your initiative, or creating public pressure for policy change.
  • Identify your audience. This might be people at risk of certain conditions, potential volunteers, members of a particular community, the general public, etc.
  • Involve the media, if they’re not already part of your partnership (they should be), in planning your media campaign.
  • Plan your message. It should identify the problem, offer solutions, and tell the public what you want. It might simply convey information, ask for money or other resources, or call for action (votes; attendance at public events, calls, emails, or visits to legislators). The message should be easily understandable by everyone – in simple English and/or other appropriate languages, clear and straightforward.
  • Pick your channel(s) carefully. Concentrate on putting your message where it will reach your intended audience. Think about the medium itself –newspapers and other print, radio, TV, Internet (Within the Internet, you can use e-mail, websites, social media –Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, etc.) Then target the area of the medium where you’re likely to find your audience – a Hispanic radio station, local-access cable channel, community newsletter, laundromat bulletin board, word-of-mouth from bartenders, hairdressers, etc.