IFGH 2012: University Community Partnership Project: Community Selection Criteria and Readiness Assessment
Authors:Elmusharaf K.1’2, Abu-Sinn D.1, Khalid A.1, Victor F.1, Abel-Hamid A.1, Abuagla A.1, Khalil A.1, Mohammed A.3
Author Affiliations:1 Reproductive & Child Health Research Unit (RCRU), at University of Medical Sciences & Technology (Khartoum – Sudan), 2 Connecting Health Research in Africa and Ireland Consortium (CHRAIC), National University of Ireland Galway, 3University of Kassala, Sudan
Option 2- Lessons from the field; project and programme evaluations; and syntheses or analyses Presented as – Oral Presentation
Many factors account for the success of University - Community partnerships for heath in post conflict settings. Many of these partnerships neither consider criteria to select the community to partner with nor assess the readiness to implement the appropriate interventions.
Community Selection Criteria and Scoring System (CSCSS) was created and then applied to select a post conflict village to partner with in Kassel State in East Sudan through desk review, key informant interviews and observation. Readiness, Ability and Willingness Assessment (RAWA) of shortlisted communities to partner with our Universities were assessed as part of the second phase of community selection.
The criteria included key factors such as population size, socioeconomic status, population movement, previous exposure to community programs and external funding, and auxiliary factors such as literacy level, health status, health facilities, transport facilities, education facilities, utilities- tap-water and electricity. Some of the factors considered for RAWA assessment were health awareness, existing community efforts and recognition of these efforts, available resources, community climate and attitude, community leadership, community mobilization for health, and training of community workers.
As a result of this exercise Makali village was selected and a partnership was created in July 2011 as a University Community Partnership Project (UCPP) between the village, University of Medical Sciences & Technology and University of Kassala to work in equal partnership to promote the health status, work on determinants of health, enhance the level of readiness and empowerment aiming eventually to create an independent community.
To choose a single village from several communities for partnership or community based initiative can be challenging. The CSCSS and RAWA provided a systematic approach to select an appropriate community for UCPP, acted as an advocacy approach and facilitated the identification of relevant stakeholders.