Citizens building local resilience by health promotion during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Contact person:
- Margareta Rämgård
- Responsible at Malmö University:
- Margareta Rämgård
- Project members:
- Time frame:
- 01 March 2020 - 30 May 2021
- Research subject:
About the project
In times of crisis, citizens with low levels of social capital, social status, and relative poverty are more disproportionally exposed to COVID-19. Medical specialists in other countries as well as in Sweden has stressed that prevention for these citizens needs to be strengthened and adapted to the new conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to reduce the spread of infection and prevent further illness. Also, COVID-19 has created an urgent need for these citizens to improve their own health through health promoting activities to increase the protection from the disease and also to deal with disruptive circumstances following COVID-19. An equally fundamental aspect for promoting health and health equity is the degree of control citizens have over their environment, life situation and potential futures. Physical distance and self-isolation are difficult to achieve for those whose living conditions are overcrowded, who are unable to work from home, and are dependent on using public transport. Medical councils may also find it difficult to access these citizens due to a lack of accessible information both in terms of readability and choice of communication channels. While inequality and social disparities within and across communities may promote illness, community assets such as solidarity, mutual trust and strong social networks are recognised as protective factors that promote positive health trajectories and therefore also well-being and social sustainability. Health promotion is, therefore, a question of empowering communities as well as individuals and supporting contexts and activities that build trust and strengthen social relationships.
The aim of this study is to analyse how citizens together with local stakeholders build up resilience in socially deprived areas with participatory health promoting activities during COVID-19.
We will work from an already established CBPR (Community based participatory research) program with participatory health promoting interventions with a mixed-method design to study social capital and the impact on health of citizens during this pandemic period, and also the impact of the ongoing initiatives organized by the health promotors on the citizens’ health during this period.
The data corresponds to analysis of three levels of resilience processes and outcomes;
- citizens’ perspectives;
- the health promotors’ perspectives and the
- stakeholders’ perspectives.
Beyond providing an empirical ground for exploring local processes cultivating local resilience, knowledge from the project can provide stakeholders and policy makers in the area of health and public health as well as in disaster risk reduction with new knowledge. Such knowledge can easily feed into their strive for an inclusive approach in their implementation of developing a sustainable society.