An evidence-based framework on community-centred approaches for health: England, UK

Jane South*, Anne Marie Bagnall, Jude A. Stansfield, Kris J. Southby, Pritti Mehta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Community participation is a central concept for health promotion, covering a breadth of approaches, purposes and activities. This paper reports on a national knowledge translation project in England, UK, which resulted in a conceptual framework and typology of community-based approaches, published as national guidance. A key objective was to develop a conceptual framework linked to sources of evidence that could be used to support increased uptake of participatory methods across the health system. It was recognized that legitimacy of community participation was being undermined by a scattered evidence base, absence of a common terminology and low visibility of community practice. A scoping review, combined with stakeholder consultation, was undertaken and 168 review and conceptual publications were identified and a map produced. A 'family of community-centred approaches for health and wellbeing' was then produced as way of organizing the evidence and visually representing the range of intervention types. There are four main groups, with sub-categories: (i) strengthening communities, (ii) volunteer and peer roles, (iii) collaborations and partnerships and (iv) access to community resources. Each group is differentiated using key concepts and theoretical justifications around increasing equity, control and social connectedness. An open access bibliography is available to accompany the framework. The paper discusses the application of the family of community-centred approaches as a flexible planning tool for health promotion practice and its potential to be used as a framework for organizing and synthesizing evidence from a range of participatory methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-366
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Public Health England and NHS England as part of a joint project ‘Working with Communities– Empowerment, Evidence and Learning’, 2014–2015.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.


  • community participation
  • empowerment
  • evidence-based practice
  • public health
  • typology


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