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What promotes sustainability in Safe Community programmes?
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Social Medicine and Public Health Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Social Medicine and Public Health Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Centre for Public Health Sciences, Centre for Public Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6049-5402
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Social Medicine and Public Health Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2009 (English)In: BMC Health Services Research, ISSN 1472-6963, Vol. 9, no 4Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The theory and practice of safety promotion has traditionally focused on the safety of individuals. This study also includes systems, environments, and organizations. Safety promotion programmes are designed to support community health initiatives taking a bottom-up approach. This is a long-term and complex process. The aim of this study was to try to empirically identify factors that promote sustainability in the structures of programmes that are managed and coordinated by the local government.

Methods: Four focus group sessions with local government politicians and administrators in designated Safe Communities were conducted and analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Results: Collaboration was found to be the basis for sustainability. Networks, enabling municipalities to exchange ideas, were reported to positively influence the programmes. Personal contacts rather than organizations themselves, determine whether collaboration is sustained. Participants reported an increase in cross-disciplinary collaboration among staff categories. Administrators and politicians were reported to collaborate well, which was perceived to speed up decision-making and thus to facilitate the programme work. Support from the politicians and the county council was seen as a prerequisite. Participants reported an increased willingness to share information between units, which, in their view, supports sustainability. A structure in which all local authorities offices were located in close proximity to one another was considered to support collaboration. Appointing a public health coordinator responsible for the programme was seen as a way to strengthen the relational resources of the programme.

Conclusion: With a public health coordinator, the external negotiating power was concentrated in one person. Also, the internal programme strength increased when the coordination was based on a bureaucratic function rather than on one individual. Increased relational resources facilitated the transfer of information. A regular flow of information to policy-makers, residents, and staff was needed in order to integrate safety programmes into routines. Adopting a bottom-up approach requires that informal and ad hoc activities in information management be replaced by formalized, organizationally sanctioned routines. In contrast to injury prevention, which focuses on technical solutions, safety promotion tries to influence attitudes. Collaboration with the media was an area that could be improved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, UK: BioMed Central, 2009. Vol. 9, no 4
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16978DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-9-4ISI: 000263184900001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-16978DiVA: diva2:200874
Available from: 2009-03-10 Created: 2009-02-27 Last updated: 2014-01-14Bibliographically approved

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Nordqvist, CeciliaTimpka, ToomasLindqvist, Kent

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