Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Call for Papers: Social Determinants of Health

From the NNIP Listserve:

Social determinants of health: a call for papers

The Lancet, Volume 371, Number 9627, 31 May 2008


“…..On Nov 8, 2008, The Lancet will publish a theme issue devoted to the social determinants of health. We invite submission of research papers, reviews, viewpoints, and comments with an emphasis on action—what the doctor, public-health worker, policy maker, and politician can do to reduce inequalities and tackle the broad interplay of economic and social forces affecting health.

This theme issue will be produced in parallel with a conference being held in London (Nov 6–7,2008) called :Closing the Gap in a Generation: Health Equity Through Action on the Social Determinants of Health

The conference also aims to identify actions based on recommendations set out by the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. That Commission, chaired by Michael Marmot, will publish its final report after the summer. Launched in 2005, the Commission has used an ambitious process of knowledge networks, country consultations, and wide engagement with civil society and academia to devise a global strategy to realise longstanding hopes for health equity.

One telling example of the complexity the Commission will have to grapple with was provided last week by Save the Children. In its report The Road Less Travelled: Barriers to Poor Children's Healthcare Utilisation in Developing and Transitional Countries, Save the Children described how the child mortality gap is widening in the world's poorest countries. Transport can cost as much as half the total cost of health care. Corruption can be a major obstacle to preventive services, such as vaccination. And high drug prices can dissuade families from purchasing the care they need.

In the Commission's interim report, Marmot described health as “a universal human aspiration and a basic human need”. Although that view commands wide medical and political support, translating this vision into a practical, realisable, and affordable plan has proven beyond the ability of most nations. The Commission's work is an opportunity to turn advocacy into action. The Lancet invites clinical and public-health scientists and practitioners to make their contribution to this unprecedented international event….”



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