Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2010 (Day)
Peninsula Second semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Belinda Lewis


Students will gain understanding of the processes involved in building partnerships and coalitions to improve health, and the theories that underpin them. The unit examines the importance of participation in the social, economic and political life of the community and the contribution this makes to health development. Students will reflect critically on concepts of social equity, empowerment, participation and the role of health professionals in community-based practice Frameworks for capacity building in communities and organisations will be examined using a range of Australian and international case studies and current issues. Students will undertake an extended community placement, gaining practical skills and insights into the challenges and rewards of community-based health promotion.


By the completion of this unit, it is expected that the student will be able to:

  1. define community development and capacity building and explain the principles which underpin them;
  2. describe and discuss a range of theories for promoting change in communities and organizations - including their strengths and limitations;
  3. reflect on the values and assumptions inherent in community development and capacity building - including their own and those of a range of stakeholders;
  4. critically reflect on concepts of social equity, empowerment, participation and engagement, as well as the role of health professionals in community-based practice.
  5. describe and discuss frameworks for building the capacity of communities and organizations to improve health, including building partnerships, networks and inter-sectoral coalitions;
  6. propose strategies for integrating community partnerships and capacity building into a selected area of practice in health and/or social care;
  7. identify key stages in developing a community response to a health-related issue;
  8. demonstrate basic skills for working collaboratively with community members and a range of stakeholders, including facilitation of group and community processes;
  9. describe approaches to monitoring and evaluating outcomes in community capacity building; and
  10. discuss contemporary issues and debates regarding evaluation of community development and capacity building, including the major research issues which are critical for advancing the evidence base in community health.


Essay: 25%
Fieldwork placement plan: 10%
Research report: 50%
Presentation based on placement activities: 15%. Students are required to attend 80% of tutorials and the community placement, unless they are able to provide medical or other certification.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Jessica McCormick