To accompany the toolkit, you may find these definitions of community development and how it can enhance the provision of hospice and palliative care useful.

Palliative Care - the new essentials
(Abel, Kellehear and Karapliagou 2018)

Community engagement

A process by which health or service outcomes are improved or altered through the participation and efforts of local communities, alongside services. Through this process participants may develop skills, competencies and knowledge but the primary aim of the work is to influence wider health or service outcomes, rather than the skills of participants.

Community development

1. A process where community members are supported by agencies to identify and take collective action on issues which are important to them. Community development empowers community members and creates stronger and more connected communities.

2. A holistic approach grounded in principles of empowerment, human rights, inclusion, social justice, self-determination and collective action (Kenny, 2007). Community development considers community members to be experts in their lives and communities, and values community knowledge and wisdom.

Community development programs are led by community members at every stage - from deciding on issues to selecting and implementing actions, and evaluation. Community development has an explicit focus on the redistribution of power to address the causes of inequality and disadvantage.

Compassionate communities

Are community development initiatives that involve citizens taking an active role in end of life issues facing their community. They are comprised of networks of people with a range of different connections engaged in mutually supportive relationships.

Health promoting palliative care

An approach whereby the five pillars of the Ottawa Charter (healthy public policy; community action; supportive environments; personal skills and re-orientating health services) are taken on by a palliative care service and used to change the service they deliver from a clinically focused model to a public health model. This does not usually refer to the actions of communities, community groups and other grassroots movements, it relates to service-based, organisational changes.

Understanding the inter-relation of new public health approaches to end of life care

Download this background to community development, taken from Collective social capital: A study of new public health and end-of-life care, L. Sallnow (2018)

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