New evidence gives policy-makers insights on measuring community empowerment and resilience


Improved community empowerment and resilience allow people increased control over factors which influence their health, including access to health care and preventative services, as well as equal opportunity within the community. But while both of these values-based concepts are key to health policy-making, they are also difficult to measure. Two Health Evidence Network (HEN) reports just published by WHO/Europe offer policy-makers new insights, synthesizing the best available evidence on the measurement of these concepts at a national level.

Both reports were commissioned by WHO/Europe’s initiative to enhance Health 2020 monitoring and reporting. The initiative aims to create a better evidence base for key Health 2020 concepts, alongside proposing actionable strategies for measuring Member States’ progress towards value-based commitments and therefore advancing on the health-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr Claudia Stein, Director of the Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation at WHO/Europe, said: “The HEN reports on community empowerment and community resilience are a valuable resource for policy-makers. They bring together findings from disparate fields of research for the first time, offering both qualitative and quantitative strategies for measuring community empowerment and community resilience at the national level. These reports are an example of the very innovative value provided by WHO’s initiative to enhance Health 2020 monitoring and reporting for understanding concepts central to health policy-making in the WHO European Region and beyond".

The community empowerment and resilience reports, authored by Dr Glenn Laverack and Dr Pierre Pratley, and by Professor Jane South and colleagues respectively, were both produced with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Those wishing to learn more about the use of quantitative and qualitative methods in measuring community empowerment and community resilience are invited to read the full reports, which are both available online.