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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 799-817; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030799

Measurement of Community Empowerment in Three Community Programs in Rapla (Estonia)

1
Institute of Political Science and Governance, University of Tallinn, Narva mnt. 10-120, Tallinn, Estonia
2
Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Niels Bohrs Vej 9-10, 6700 Esbjerg, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 February 2011 / Accepted: 8 March 2011 / Published: 11 March 2011
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Abstract

Community empowerment approaches have been proven to be powerful tools for solving local health problems. However, the methods for measuring empowerment in the community remain unclear and open to dispute. This study aims to describe how a context-specific community empowerment measurement tool was developed and changes made to three health promotion programs in Rapla, Estonia. An empowerment expansion model was compiled and applied to three existing programs: Safe Community, Drug/HIV Prevention and Elderly Quality of Life. The consensus workshop method was used to create the measurement tool and collect data on the Organizational Domains of Community Empowerment (ODCE). The study demonstrated considerable increases in the ODCE among the community workgroup, which was initiated by community members and the municipality’s decision-makers. The increase was within the workgroup, which had strong political and financial support on a national level but was not the community’s priority. The program was initiated and implemented by the local community members, and continuous development still occurred, though at a reduced pace. The use of the empowerment expansion model has proven to be an applicable, relevant, simple and inexpensive tool for the evaluation of community empowerment.
Keywords: health promotion; community empowerment; empowerment evaluation; Estonia; Eastern Europe health promotion; community empowerment; empowerment evaluation; Estonia; Eastern Europe
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kasmel, A.; Andersen, P.T. Measurement of Community Empowerment in Three Community Programs in Rapla (Estonia). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 799-817.

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