Social Justice I - Community Development Program (Honduras and Panama)

The virtual Community Development Program focuses on how to work with on-site community leaders to conceive and develop tangible plans for community improvement. The Program explores a variety of public health, medical, microfinancing and community banking, and WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) projects, with an extended focus on a hands-on collaboration with community members to develop plans for multiple development projects. Together, these experiences help students develop transferable skills that can be applied across a variety of community development projects and in a variety of global locations.

The heart of the Program focuses on facilitated small team engagement in hands-on collaboration with local community leaders and organizations through virtual meetings to develop plans for multiple development projects. Students begin by collaborating with community members to map community assets.1 Based on the asset mapping results, teams will collaborate with community members to:

  • Plan, develop, and implement a detailed Community Development Action Plan that builds on the communities’ assets and addresses the needs as identified by the community,
  • Research and formulate a Plan infrastructure budget,
  • Work out an implementation timeline, and
  • Continue to engage with community members over time as the Plan is implemented.

1 “Asset mapping provides information about the strengths and resources of a community and can help uncover solutions. Once community strengths and resources are inventoried and depicted in a map, you can more easily think about how to build on these assets to address community needs and improve health. Finally, asset mapping promotes community involvement, ownership, and empowerment.” UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (https://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/programs/health-data/trainings/Documents/tw_cba20.pdf). Accessed March 24, 2021.

The Program aligns with three of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: #3 Good Health and Wellbeing, #6 Clean Water and Sanitation, and #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth.

This virtual Community Development Program enables students to collaborate with community members to achieve real impact, gain significant experience, and develop transferable community development skills and intercultural competencies, while limiting time away from school and their carbon travel footprint by using virtual meetings – all for the cost of a textbook or two.

Community Development Program Learning Objectives
Students that successfully complete the Community Development Program will be able to:

  • Discuss what a community development program is, and key factors to ensure its success (gather information, promote community participation in the process, identify an evidence-based program, monitor and evaluate the process).
  • Discuss a variety of public health, medical care, economic development (microfinancing and community banking), community violence (gang, family), and WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) community issues and possible solutions.
  • Collect and analyze real qualitative and quantitative community data (including asset mapping) for these issues.
  • Work collaboratively with community leaders in a unique cultural context, emphasizing participation and buy-in, to research, identify, and recommend solutions to public health, medical care, economic development, community violence, immigration, education, and WASH challenges.
  • Learn how to develop, write, and present a Community Development Action Plan with real-world guidelines for implementation.


Resources provided in support of the virtual sessions and Modules

  • A bilingual, on-the-ground session coordinator will facilitate each virtual session with students.
  • A translator is provided in each virtual session in which students engage with community members.
  • Full-time local teams that work year-round to execute programs alongside communities.
  • Handbook and materials provided to all students.
  • Session scheduling that coordinates students and community members.


Modules in the Community Development Program curriculum

There are eleven Modules in the Community Development Program that can be variously assembled to build programs of the appropriate length and focus.
Additional Modules can be developed to address specific campus needs.

  • Additional Modules can be added to the beginning of the Program that focus on developing a variety of skills and experiences with students before the Module sequence below begins, or extending the post-engagement work to provide the opportunity for more comprehensive reflection, research, and time for other projects. These additional Modules can be taught either on the home campus, or by the Session Coordinator.
  • Additional community-based engagement Modules can also be developed.

In addition to our skill-based learning objectives, we focus on helping students develop intercultural competencies so that they can more effectively collaborate both with our community partners and others.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW


Module 1 – Pre-engagement (Contact time: 1.5 hours est.)

  • What is Community Development?
  • Principles to bring about change
  • Relational and Community meetings
  • Intercultural Competencies
  • Critical reflection – Public Narrative
Module 1 – Learning outcomes
Students that successfully complete Module 1 will be able to:
    • Explain the basic theoretical framework that animates the practice of community development, and be able to discuss key principles (attitudes and skills) used to bring about change.
    • Explain the basics assumptions and practices of a relational and community meetings.
    • Discuss key attitudes, knowledges, skills, and internal/external outcomes that are part of the process of developing intercultural competencies over time.
    • Develop student Public Narratives, including each students’ story of self, story of us, and story of now.
Module 1 – Self-paced follow-up activities
    • Watch the “Global Brigades Foundation” video.
    • Note any questions that arise in anticipation of the Module 2 meeting and discussion.


Module 2 – Onboarding and Program Overview (Contact time: 1.5 hours est.)

  • Review the Holistic Model and the details of how the Community Development Program and its sessions will work.
  • Examine the current community’s public health, sanitation, medical, and microfinancing and community banking challenges and explore what inputs the group will be responsible for analyzing during future sessions.
Module 2 – Learning outcomes
Students that successfully complete Module 2 will be able to:
    • Explain how the Community Development Program is aligned with both the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the Empowered 100 rural communities initiative (E100).
    • Explain the details of the current community’s public health, sanitation, medical, and microfinancing and community banking challenges.
    • Explain the structure, function, and approach of the Basic Sanitation Committee, healthy schools and households methodology, public health, medical, microfinancing and community banking (cajas rurales), and WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) community efforts.
Module 2 – Self-paced follow-up activities
    • Intention setting: What is your goal for this week? What is one question you would not like to go unanswered? What is it about this work that inspires you? Answer the questions listed in your Handbook.
    • Read healthcare issues materials in the Handbook.


Module 3 – Healthcare Access (Contact time: 2 hours est.)

  • Explore concepts, components, and social determinants of primary health access in developing economies abroad.
  • Explore the healthcare system in Honduras.
  • Discuss with an on-site doctor about their clinical experience.
  • View a clinical session.
Module 3 – Learning outcomes
Students that successfully complete Module 3 will be able to:
    • Explain key concepts, components, and social determinants of primary health access in developing economies abroad.
    • Explain the major difference between students’ healthcare system and the healthcare system in Honduras.
    • Discuss clinical work in Honduras based upon discussions with an on-site doctor and viewing a clinical session.
Module 3 – Self-paced follow-up activities
    • Read community banking and microfinance materials in Handbook.
    • View assigned videos.
    • View the virtual field visit of technicians in the community demonstrating how the Community Assessment Household Surveys are distributed and completed, what criteria are the most important in determining when there are good or deficient public health infrastructures in the community’s homes.


Module 4 – Community Context and Data Tools (Contact time: 1.5 hours est.)

  • Preliminary introduction to the partner community with which students will collaborate.
  • Exploring the community profile, needs assessment, and past medical trends.
  • Discussion on data collection methods and tools (Basic Sanitation Committee Interview, Community Assessment Household Surveys, KoboToolbox).
Module 4 – Learning outcomes
Students that successfully complete Module 4 will be able to:
    • Explain the main historic data and profile information for this community.
    • Explain the main public health needs for this community.
    • Explain the primary data collection methods used in these sessions.
Module 4 – Self-paced follow-up activities
    • Create in Spanish, a draft self-introduction for the next session in which you will meet the Basic Sanitation Committee (BSC) for the community. Draft your introduction in the Handbook.
    • Draft questions for the BSC that you would like to have answered in your next session. A translator will always assist you in your sessions.
    • Review the list of common Spanish language terms used in Public Health in the Handbook to facilitate your interaction with the BSC.
    • Prepare a semi-structured qualitative interview for the BSC. Draft your questions in the Handbook.


Module 5 – Meeting the Community leaders (members of the Basic Sanitation Committee, Water Council, Community Banks, Patronato) (Contact time: 2 hours est.)

  • Meeting community leaders, particularly members of the Water Council and the Basic Sanitation Committee (BSC).
  • Conduct a qualitative focus group session on community health challenges.
  • Working with the BSC to prepare for the implementation of household surveys using KoboToolbox following the session.
  • Based on the community focus group results, draft a “problem tree”.
Module 5 – Learning outcomes
Students that successfully complete Module 5 will be able to:
    • Explain the work of a Basic Sanitation Committee and how they do it.
    • Explain the community’s general public health situation, based on qualitative data.
    • Explain how to facilitate a qualitative focus group session on community health challenges.
Module 5 – Self-paced follow-up activities
    • Write up conclusions based on the Basic Sanitation Committee focus group sessions.
    • Based on the BSC focus group sessions, identifying key takeaways, and trends in responses that will assist in the analysis of the qualitative interview data.


Module 6 – Community banking and microfinance (Contact time: 2 hours est.)

  • Understand implications and underlying factors of global wealth disparities.
  • Explore the role of microfinance and micro-enterprise development in achieving sustainable development.
  • Discussion with community banking leaders in Panama.
Module 6 – Learning outcomes
Students that successfully complete Module 6 will be able to:
    • Discuss issues involved in global wealth disparities.
    • Explain how microfinance and micro-enterprise projects can successfully be used for sustainable community development.
Module 6 – Self-paced follow-up activities
    • Review the Healthy Schools and Households Manual, which will guide the methodology for house visits and to identify and change a community’s public health behaviors. Answer the questions listed in your Handbook.
    • Review the Data Informatics Report on your community, past medical patient trends from prior Global Brigades clinics, as well as the Rapid Needs Assessment and community profile for your assigned community prior to your next session.


Module 7 – Data Analysis (Contact time: 1.5 hours est.)

  • Data collected from the Community Assessment Household Survey is reviewed and discussed.
  • Based on the review and discussion of the data, next steps are established to draft a Community Development Action Plan, which includes a market analysis of public health infrastructure needs (such as community hygiene stations, ecostoves, and water filters).
Module 7 – Learning outcomes
Students that successfully complete Module 7 will be able to:
    • Explain what a Community Assessment Survey can determine, how many households took part in the Survey, and whether the Survey data is representative of the community as a whole.
    • Explain the trends identified from the data regarding primary health challenges for the community.
    • Quantify the amount and type of infrastructure needed in this community.
Module 7 – Self-paced follow-up activities
    • Based on the Community Assessment Survey data and the qualitative data obtained from the Basic Sanitation Committee focus group interview, identifying the primary health challenges facing the community. Establish a priority list in your Handbook.
    • Market Analysis: begin to identify, based on the Community Assessment Survey data, the public health infrastructure needs of this community.
    • Begin drafting the Community Development Action Plan, with Marketing Analysis and a budget breakdown.


Module 8 – Group Working Session 1 (Contact time: 1.5 hours est.)

  • The Group presents its analysis to the Session Coordinator for feedback.
  • Establishing a priority list of health challenges and developing solutions to those challenges.
  • The Group presents a preliminary Market Analysis on public health infrastructure needs.
Module 8 – Learning outcomes
Students that successfully complete Module 8 will be able to:
    • Explain how feedback from the Session Coordinator on the analysis of the Community Assessment Household Surveys data will be utilized to develop the Community Development Action Plan.
Module 8 – Self-paced follow-up activities
    • Based on initial analysis and feedback in Module 6 Session, begin research you’re your Group to identify potential solutions for the Community Public Health Action Plan.
    • With members of your Group, draft the Community Development Action Plan and begin deciding how to present it to the Basic Sanitation Committee.


Module 9 – Group Working Session 2 (Contact time: 1.5 hours est.)

  • The Group presents its Community Public Health Action Plan to the Session Coordinator for feedback.
  • Work to finalize the Community Development Action Plan.
  • Work on finalizing the Market Analysis on public health infrastructure needs.
Module 9 – Learning outcomes
Students that successfully complete Module 9 will be able to:
    • Explain how a Community Development Action Plan is developed, revised collectively through team discussion and collaboration, and finalized into a working document to be used with the community Basic Sanitation Committee (BSC).
    • Explain how to develop a Market Analysis of public health infrastructure needs to support the Community Development Action Plan and the work of the community BSC.
Module 9 – Self-paced follow-up activities
    • With the Group, finalize any revisions to the Community Development Action Plan and Market Analysis.


Module 10 – Community Presentation (Contact time: 2 hours est.)

  • The Group presents its Community Development Action Plan with a Budget for Sanitations Infrastructure to the community Basic Sanitation Committee (BSC), assisted by a translator.
  • In collaboration with the BSC, an implementation timeline is established for the following weeks.
  • The Group presents its Marketing Plan for public health infrastructure projects to the Session Coordinator for feedback.
Module 10 – Learning outcomes
Students that successfully complete Module 10 will be able to:
    • Present the analyzed data, based on the Public Health Assessment Survey, to the Basic Sanitation Committee (BSC).
    • Present the Community Development Action Plan with a Budget for Sanitations Infrastructure to the BSC.
    • Collaborate with the BSC to establish a timeline for the implementation of the Community Development Action Plan.
Module 10 – Self-paced follow-up activities
    • Revised the Community Development Action Plan, based on the community Basic Sanitation Committee feedback.
    • Finalize Marketing Plan for public health infrastructure projects, based on the Session Coordinator’s feedback.


Module 11 – Post Project Next Steps, Data Impact Reporting & Networking (Contact time: 1.5 hours est.)

  • Separately, the Basic Sanitation Committee implements the Community Development Action Plan and communicates ongoing results.
  • The Session Coordinator facilitates a reflection and discussion with the Group on the utility, impacts, and planning and creation of the Community Development Action Plan and a budget for infrastructure.
  • Session Coordinator provides the Community Development Action Plan’s next steps in the BSC’s implementation process.
Module 11 – Learning outcomes
Students that successfully complete Module 11 will be able to:
    • Explain process and impacts for a community, based on interactions and collaborations with members of the Basic Sanitation Committee, of the planning and implementation of a Community Development Action Plan with a budget for infrastructure.
Module 11 – Self-paced follow-up activities
    • Submit written reflections on the process and impacts for a community, based on interactions and collaborations with members of the Basic Sanitation Committee, of the planning and implementation of a Community Development Action Plan with a budget for infrastructure.


Impact Reporting

Students will be included in Global Brigades’ regular newsletters and receive project updates and overall monitoring and evaluation of our programs.

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