Getting Started with THRIVE: READINESS
Is my community or organization ready to use THRIVE?
THRIVE can help foster community engagement and catalyze action among participants. However, it is important that there is a capacity to build on and carry priorities forward. Communities should assess readiness and capacity to ensure that follow-through will take place and that the credibility of the lead group(s) can be maintained. Issues of readiness and capacity may include organizational staffing to carryout recommendations, community buy-in of the approach, availability of training and technical assistance, and connectedness to major decision makers.
Is there a chance we could do damage to the community or its members?
The purpose of the THRIVE tool and associated process and materials is to help communities address disparities in health, promote health equity, and to improve long-term health outcomes in the local population. THRIVE has been shown to be an effective catalyst toward these goals. However, these goals are long-term and require long-term, deliberate action. In initiating and following through with this process, there are a number of considerations that communities should take into account to both reduce the risk of harm to the members of the community and to achieve maximum benefits of a community resilience approach. These include:
- Unintended consequences: Avoid unintended consequences by thoroughly thinking through the implications of an action. For example, large chain stores may be able to provide desired products; however they may bring with them traffic congestion and increased traffic and pedestrian injuries, while forcing locally-owned stores out of business. Selected actions should promote positive long-term health outcomes and do no harm in the short-term and long- term.
Reduce gentrification: Improving community ambiance, opportunities, and health can change the make-up of the community. In particular it can result in displacement of people who the tool is designed to help. Take steps to ensure that while improving the overall community the people in the community aren’t pushed out. Current strategies to address this include promoting regional equity1 and systematically fostering micro business development opportunities for people who live in the community.
Policylink. Equitable Development Toolkit. Available at: http://www.policylink.org/EquitableDevelopment/. Accessed June 18,, 2004.