PhD Thesis by Scott R Davis – The University of Sydney
My PhD thesis Community Capacity Development for Better Health: The role of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) in restoring community capacity commenced when I was the national policy and project officer at NACCHO. At the time there was significant discussion as to how the non-health measure could be described. It is my hope that the work we have undertaken to describe a framework through which community capacity development occurs can be used to systematically address a range of social determinants that impact on Indigenous peoples health and wellbeing.
This study has sought to identify the impact of the policies of self determination as manifest through the development of Indigenous Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs), through the lens of community capacity building and empowerment.
This study has concluded that ACCHO have had a profound impact on the wider Indigenous communities, beyond just the provision of health services, and that the strategies that have evolved over time from within the community, have been critical to the development of new Indigenous organisations, leaders, and political advocates, and providing opportunities indigenous people which did not previously exist.
These strategies have successfully:
- Increased leadership and advocacy on the social determinants of health
- Increased access to integrated, holistic health services, which meet the needs of our community
- Increased opportunities for Indigenous people
- Increased power to be heard and the ability to take action
- Increased resources within community
- Renewed sense of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, pride and sense of community
- Increased Indigenous organisations, enhanced partnerships and collaboration to address the social determinant of Indigenous health
By using the framework developed through this study, community controlled organisations can systematically embed strategies that support community capacity restoration within programs and services. Current policy, which increasingly talks to the need to support the Indigenous community capacity building, can be operationalised through this framework.
PhD thesis abstract PDF [59kB]
- Documenting some of the wider health benefits of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, Croakey Blog, September 2013
- Documenting some of the wider health benefits of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, NACCHO member news, Octover 2013