The Duke DPT Program is committed to developing partnerships locally and beyond in order to contribute to and garner rich learning opportunities from efforts to address patient, community, and health system issues in a safe, effective, and sustained manner. We utilize the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health’s Global Health Competency Model and the CDC’s Principles of Community Engagement to select community-based activities with the following priorities in mind:
- The purposes or goals of the engagement effort and the target populations and/or communities must be explicit. Themes should be centered around one or more of the global health competencies outlined in the ASPPH’s Global Health Competency Model.
- Organizers must be knowledgeable about the community’s culture, economic conditions, social networks, political and power structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement by outside groups.
- Preparation should involve establishment of relationships in the target community, building of trust with the formal and informal community leaders, and obtainment of a commitment from community organizations and leaders to create processes for sustainment of efforts.
- Organizers should be aware of the community’s perceptions of those initiating the engagement activities.
- No Duke DPT project or participant shall assume the authority to bestow on a community the power to act in its own self-interest. Organizers and participants should demonstrate an understanding that collective self-determination is the responsibility and right of the members of a community.
- All aspects of community engagement must recognize and respect the diversity of the target community. Awareness of the various cultures of a community and other factors affecting diversity must be paramount in planning, designing, and implementing approaches to engaging a community.
- Community engagement can only be sustained by identifying and mobilizing community assets and strengths. Projects will be given higher level approval when they prioritize the development of the community’s capacity to make decisions and take action.
- Organizers and participants must be prepared to release control of actions or interventions to the community and be flexible enough to meet its changing needs.
- Community partnerships based on long-term commitment will be given priority.
If you have questions about Duke’s involvement in the community, or you have an idea you’d like to discuss, please contact us at DPToutreach@dm.duke.edu