TED LANKESTER and NATHAN GRILLS have co-edited a new book which will be published by Oxford University Press on March 7th. It's called Setting Up Community Health and Development Programmes, and is the 4th edition of an iconic book in its field. There will be a small launch event in London on March 18th, and you're invited! RSVP here. In the meantime, Ted and Nathan have been telling us more...
Jake: What's the book about? Nathan: It’s about ways in which communities – with appropriate support from others – can help to set up and expand their own health and development programmes. Ted: It emphases the priority of communities taking control and managing their lives, in contrast to outside agencies coming in and "doing it for them".
Jake: Why a new edition now? Ted: Global health has changed hugely. More people now die from non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure than from infectious illness. Domestic violence, mental health, disability, palliative care and preparing for disasters have all moved up the agenda. The causes or determinants of health need to be addressed such as lack of income, insufficient food and water, and climate change. We need to work at the top of the cliff to identify these causes as well as below the cliff to help people pick up the pieces. This new edition is aimed at helping communities to "turn off the tap of ill health". Jake: Where will copies of the book go? Ted: To field managers and practitioners, academics, health and development undergraduate and postgraduate students, planners and policy makers, and others interested in current global health issues from a practical and up-to-date perspective. Also because it is being published under what is known as 'creative commons', each chapter of the book can be downloaded from the internet anywhere, by anyone, free of charge. Jake: What's your hopes for what the book can achieve? Nathan: There's an ever increasing desire for well-meaning people to reach out to disadvantaged groups that lack access to health. But how can this be done? I would hope that this book provides practical help for workers – both from the community and from external organisations – on how to develop effective community health activities which lead to healthier lives. Ted: I hope it will enable communities working towards owning their futures to do this as effectively as possible, by understanding the evidence of what works best and to learn from the examples of others. Jake: Disability is a particular expertise of yours, Nathan. What's changed in the field of disability since the last edition? Nathan: More and more, we know that the response to disability must be owned and led by those with a disability. ‘Nothing about us without us’ has become the catch cry. This means increasing the rights and capabilities of those with disability. This new book marries the response at the community level with this rights-based approach. Jake: Arukah Network's logo appears on the book. Why? Ted: The book reflects the Arukah vision of enabling communities to identify their assets, and use them collaboratively to good effect. It's also the result of the stories and experiences gathered from around our network since our first Cluster began in Uttarakhand over ten years ago. Jake: How do you feel now it's finished? Ted: It's been a lot of work! Much harder than expected, but I feel happy about the outcome, not least the eight new chapters on key topics, each written by leaders in their field. Nathan: I feel incredibly thankful that Ted led this!
If you live in or near London, why not come to the launch on March 18th? RSVP here.