Background In Japan, the movement of community safety promotion called “Safe Community (SC)” was firstly launched by a community in 2006 and it was designated in 2008. Since then, the movement has been gradually expanding across the country. As of March 2016, there are 13 designated communities in Japan and another few more are working on safety promotion based on the SC morel.
Although the “designation” as members of the Safe Community network is a good way of branding the communities, the communities are more interested in the impacts of SC in various aspects such as improvement of safety and accompanying changes in the communities. This study therefore aims to provide a broad-ranging analysis of the impacts of the SC programs at the municipality level.
Methods The annual reports submitted by the designated Japanese communities were examined to see changes in the structure, mechanism, resources of safety promotion at the community level, outputs of programs and impacts such as the mortality from external causes. Based on the information from the written materials, semi-structured interview were conducted to the relevant parties such as politicians, city government, citizens and so on.
Results In all communities working on the community safety promotion with the SC model, the structures of cross sectoral collaboration and the cycle of the program operation as Plan-Do- Check-Act was developed along with their situations. In addition, the citizens’ involvement in the movements has been promoted. Those improvements have also caused changes in outputs. As a result of a sequence of those changes, some impacts have been observed in mortality and morbidity from some external causes such as traffic accidents, suicide, falling and so on. In addition, the newly established surveillance system related to the medical data have made it possible to see the impacts on the medical cost to those injuries.
Conclusions Although comprehensiveness and multiplicity of the movements are features of the SC, these aspects have made it difficult to see the clear impacts of the SC programs. Those difficulties can drive politicians cautious about application of the SC model into their community governance. Currently, the improvements in the infrastructure and outcomes have been already evaluated in many communities but it is still difficult to identify the outcomes. Therefore, the evaluation schemes in relation to the medical cost which are now under the development in some communities will shed light on the impacts evaluation in other communities. Once the firm assessment system is developed and become made good use at the community level, decision makers and practitioners can see how their efforts change their communities and it will contribute to the dynamic community involvement.
- Safe Communities
- Injury Prevention
- Program Assessment
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