Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Community Change in Public Health

This is an all levels course offering CPH — Free
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Time to Start

3-5 minutes


9.00 hours


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In bringing about behavior change in public health, we often focus on the individual mother, student, or farmer. We should not forget the community structure and norms constrain for encouraging individual health behaviors. This course examines the community context of the changes needed to promote the public’s health, as well as the various definitions of ‘community’ and the processes by which we ‘diagnose’ or seek to understand the structure and characteristics of different types of communities.

This course examines the concept of participation in an effort to see how different levels of involvement may affect the sustainability of community change efforts. Finally, a case study of a community participatory approach to onchocerciasis control in Africa is presented. Community Directed Intervention has subsequently been successfully applied to providing other essential primary health care services by and in the community, such as insecticide-treated bednets, malaria treatment, vitamin A distribution, deworming medicines, and pneumonia and diarrhea case management.

This training is part of a Foundations of Global Health specialization available through Johns Hopkins University. The individual course offers a no-cost or audit option. The training features five modules designed to be taken over a five-week period. 

This learning opportunity addresses training topics identified in PHWINS 2017. 

What You'll Learn

  • Provide a definition of community
  • Identify community components, characteristics, and typologies
  • Outline and explain the components of a community diagnosis
  • Explain the concept of perceived community/collective efficacy
  • Outline and describe the community competency model
  • Explain Rothman's model of community change Note relationships of Rothman's model to other change models
  • Describe the levels of the political economy model
  • Give examples of a political economy interpretation to health problems
  • Define the concept of community coalitions
  • Identify the role of community participation in the Alma Ata Declaration
  • Provide examples of the effect of participation on program outcomes
  • Describe how coalitions can address urban health problems
  • Describe the levels of participation along a continuum
  • Distinguish between community-based and community-controlled programming

Competency Terms

Community Partnership Development
Cultural Competency Skills
Cultural Influence on Policies, Programs, & Services
Community Dimensions of Practice Skills

Related Occupations

Community Health Worker
Department/Bureau Director
Health Educator
Health Officer
Other Management & Leadership
Other Professional
Public health - multiple occupations will benefit
Public Health Agency Director
Public Health Manager/Program Manager
Registered Nurse - Community Health Nurse
Social Worker