Background Best practise suggests community consensus is necessary for implementing action and change. Many health practitioners struggle to implement injury prevention initiatives that meet the needs of conflicting audiences. Decision makers are often influenced by cost-saving analysis, community members can be influenced by media propaganda and practitioners themselves are often influenced by limited resources, time and expertise.
Description of the problem In 2014, Western Australian local government authority, the City of Melville, decided to identify their injury prevention priorities, as part of their submission for Pan Pacific Safe Community Accreditation. Partnering with the Injury Control Council of WA, the City of Melville held a one-day Priority Setting workshop to gain audience consensus of the city’s strategic planning as well as buy-in for the Safe Community Accreditation process.
Results (effects/changes) The strength of the workshop was the balanced presentation of data and public opinion. Data presented included statistics of injury related hospitalisation, death and crime rates. Opinion was sought from representatives of state agencies, injury experts, community groups and local residents. A fair ranking (scoring) system was applied to both the data and public opinion. These rankings were combined to finalise the injury prevention priorities for the City of Melville.
Conclusions Feedback from participants stated appreciation for the opportunity to be involved, encouraged and heard. The success of the workshop is now evident with the establishment of volunteer working groups and activities, aiming to address each of the priorities in the City of Melville. The balance of data and opinion, as created by the World Health Organisation for International Safe Communities Accreditation, is an accessible, practical and adaptable framework for public health practitioners around the world.
- safe communities