Sunday, July 18, 2010

What will this course mean for my future work practices?

This weeks learning task:

Make a plan for what you want to learn and explore, and write it up (or present in another way eg mindmap, video recording) on your blog.

In my recent blog entry I didn’t really, go into detail about what I want to learn in FO2010 and beyond. It was the big picture view.

This post is much more specific.

I’ve kinda been conducting my own Training Needs Analysis.

Part of this has been a stocktake of my own pre-existing skills relevant to the task of mastering Health Promotion 2.0.

I think my personal tool bag is pretty good.

I work as a Health Promotion Officer and I’ve had that job title over 13 years.
Before that mainly worked in NGOs and had fabulous opportunities to learn new skills, many of which I still draw up heavily.

Before 13 years there does not seem to be have been many people in the world who had a job title of Mental Health Promotion Officer. Such is modern life.

My work is in a specialist area of health promotion. Many people have no idea or wrong ideas what Health Promotion is. Health education is a small part of health promotion work. I am not involved in publicity for health services in ant meaningful sense.

A foundational document in health promotion is the Ottawa Charter from the World Health Organisation. I read it years before I was ever involved in health promotion at it stuck with me as a great document.

It reads very well. Few professional groups have such an inspiring and insightful document as a foundation.

My professional association, the Australian Health Promotion Australia LINK is conducted a long process to produce a statement of the core competencies of my profession.

Other bodies in various states and some international organization have also been producing lists of competencies. Notable is the Galway Conference Declaration

What strikes me about the all these lists, is that they will all need an extensive rework because of Web 2.0. I suspect this is the same for the competencies for many other professions.

The Health Promotion Australia Competency List in summary are:

The major competencies required include:
1. Program planning, implementation and evaluation competencies
1.1 Needs (or situational) assessment competencies
1.2 Program planning competencies
1.3 Competencies for planning evidenced-based strategies
1.4 Evaluation and research competencies

2. Partnership building competencies

3. Communication and report writing competencies

4. Technology competencies

5. Knowledge competencies

What strikes me is that new collaborative Web 2.0 technologies are changing our work very fast. The above competencies list will be out of date in few years.

The core technology competencies are pretty basic.

It says:
An entry level health promotion practitioner is able to:
4.1 operate a computer, word processing and email systems;
4.2 use software for footnotes, endnotes, and other report layout requirements;
4.3 manage database and spreadsheet applications;
4.4 use the internet as a work tool;
4.5 use technology based systems to identify and review the literature; and
4.6 operate audiovisual and multimedia equipment

As for the Galway Conference List, I like it much more.

It reads:

The competencies required to engage in health promotion practice fall into eight

1. Catalyzing change – Enabling change and empowering individuals and communities to improve their health.

2. Leadership – Providing strategic direction and opportunities for participation in developing healthy public policy, mobilizing and managing resources for health promotion, and building capacity.

3. Assessment – Conducting assessment of needs and assets in communities and systems that leads to the identification and analysis of the behavioral, cultural, social, environmental and organizational determinants that promote or compromise health.

4. Planning – Developing measurable goals and objectives in response to assessment of needs and assets, and identifying strategies that are based on knowledge derived from theory, evidence, and practice.

5. Implementation – Carrying out effective and efficient, culturally-sensitive, and ethical strategies to ensure the greatest possible improvements in health, including management of human and material resources.

6. Evaluation – Determining the reach, effectiveness, and impact of health promotion programs and policies. This includes utilizing appropriate evaluation and research methods to support program improvements, sustainability, and dissemination.

7. Advocacy – Advocating with and on behalf of individuals and communities to improve their health and well-being and building their capacity for undertaking actions that can both improve health and strengthen community assets.

8. Partnerships – Working collaboratively across disciplines, sectors, and partners to enhance the impact and sustainability of health promotion programs and policies.

It takes a bit of thinking about to work out what all this means for Health Promotion 2.0.

I can see real power in social network media tools to do all these things. But which tools, and how to use them to what ends.

My head is full of questions about what is the potential and now every use of the Web 2.0 as a work tool in Health Promotion.

Robyn Kalda from Canada has put up a powerpoint on this topic in past few weeks that covers some of the things I want to learn.

Innovative Use of Information Technology for Health Promotion:
Making your Work more Effective, Easier and Possibly Even More Fun

She is linked with the Health Promotion Clearinghouse is one of the best examples of how Web 2.0 might be used.

There is also the empty web site

I think this clearinghouse are seeing what can be done but not quite yet pulling it off. Bring along your partners to be able to use Web 2.0 seems to be a key challenge.

It takes time to learn these new tools and imagination is a barrier.

I remember when everybody was pretty pleased with the IMB Electric Typewritter then along came this thing call the dedicated word processor in the early 1970s.

With a word processing machine the stored text could be edited. Editing functions was basic including Insert, Delete, Skip (character, line), and so on.

Someone once trained me how to use them just as they were all sent to the dump and replaced by PC based word-processing software.

The labor and cost savings of word processing machines over typing were immediate, and remarkable.

The typing pools were disrupted to say the least. Pages of typing no longer had to be retyped to correct the most basic errors. Projects could be retrieved and worked on or modified.

Next came a wave of change - PC based spreadsheets, databases and then desktop publishing.

With these tools my productively leaped.

The next wave was email and then the World Wide Web.

I've found the internet pretty boring since the arrival of Web 1.0.

While I was involved in spreading email and the www to others, generally I could not have been much bothered with most new internet based technology

But I now find this web 2.0 stuff is really exciting.

As exciting as spreadsheets, databases and then desktop publishing, emails and web pages.

I predict that this Web 2.0 stuff feels like its going to change the way we do things.

Part of the problem is going to be bring along my peers, partners and stakeholders sooner rather than latter.

The Blogging are you serious attitude

I love this post on the blog The Bamboo Project because I feel that blogging in mental health promotion is not seen as respectable.


A search of found 4 blogs that mentioned “health promotion” although many many blogs mention health promotion topics.

My weekly Google Alerts on ‘mental health promotion” gives me a few blog hits every week.

Last week I stumbled upon a health promotion wiki

I’m still working my way into it but it may be useful to many in this course.

I also found last week a mental health promotion blog Using technology to improve youth mental health which part of Phd study.

I guess I'm saying that one of the learning needs is strategies to draw others into these news methods. Some of this will involve helping them over come barriers and punch in their facilitators.

1 comment:

  1. I thought Michele's post was excellent because I don't think blogging isn't really respectable in health anywhere. Why do you think that is? What can we do as health professionals to overcome attitudes about blogging in health?