The Advancing Health Program held its second meeting in July with the purpose of exploring community research board models to adapt. The 13 partners split into groups to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different models and how they have been implemented by other similar organizations, before reconvening to discuss as a group.
Following this meeting, the program has developed a more detailed idea of what a potential collaborative advisory board focused on research would look like. The next meeting will dig deeper into the logistics of the board.
The Advancing Health Program is a collaborative effort to develop ways through which we can integrate the voices of our community in the preparation of future projects focusing on refugee health.
The program aims to create a board of representatives from Ethnic Community Based Organizations in San Diego. Members join the board as representatives of their respective communities to work toward the ultimate goal of creating a more informed process of advocacy and reform; increasing engagement with emphasis on strengthening the agency of our communities, improving research methods and accountability, and supporting effective interventions for the improvement of health equity within the San Diego refugee community.
This would help ensure that any information collected from the communities would make it back to the community so that it can be used in community development initiatives, for example. The Advancing Health Program would also have the capacity to plan and launch its own research projects that could potentially focus on a range of topics that are relevant to refugee communities.
The program is funded through a grant by the California Endowment. Its first meeting was held in April, giving the members a chance to meet and introduce themselves. Thus far, four meetings are planned over the life cycle of this program.