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A community of practice for facilitating response to critical health and development issues
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How we work

Diagram showing the relationships between SALT practice, local response, facilitation by organisations, policy formation and community-to-community transfer

Local communities worldwide can change themselves and address their own critical issues. Yes: they can do it themselves.

As outsiders our best role is to engage in the practice of 'Human Capacity Development for Response' (HCR).

Through HCR communities become better at caring, making decisions, taking action together and preventing issues. By being more capable they can respond better to any critical issue - both now and later.

Our traditional alternatives - those of intervening or 'providing' - are best avoided.

The paradigm of HCR is that it's not just about 'them' ... instead it's about us all.

Human Capacity Development for Response (HCR)

As represented in the diagram HCR involves five elements, each of which is essential:

More detail on HCR can be found in: AFFIRM approach to 'Human Capacity Development for Response' in relation to HIV (PDF 1.3MB).

SALT practice

The core element of HCD is the practice of 'SALT' - see the SALT protocol (PDF 282KB). SALT practice is a collection of approaches dispositions, skills, methods and tools. It's the oil or the glue - it links the other elements together.

Central to SALT is facilitation - and particularly facilitation by teams.

Facilitation is well-described by Guiding principles - facilitating learning, understanding and change through relationships (PDF 2.1MB). (published by Forest Fire Management Victoria)

Local response

The understanding of local response derives from a long and deep experience of local and global HIV response. A useful definition of local response is adapted here from UNAIDS:

"A society is competent with a critical issue (such as AIDS) when the people are dealing with the issue effectively: they accept the reality of the issue, they assess how it is affecting their lives and work, and they are adapting to live with it positively." See: UNAIDS Local response Technical Note 3, July 2000 (PDF 640KB)

Integrated mission framework

For people who are interested in faith (whether Christain or otherwise) we have prepared an overarching integrated mission framework. It sets out:

One definition of integrated mission is "participation with others in their living and other spaces in growing to know God better in the grace (i.e. presence) of Christ."

Evidence that it works

We now have abundant evidence that HCR works - and our view is supported by the testimony of local communities worldwide. See GLoCon.

The catch

Yup - sorry - there's also a catch. It's ... we. When we believe that it's we who have the answers and the resources then we're not helping. When it's more comfortable to see 'them and us' then we're reinforcing the problem.

Instead, through allowing ourselves to change and to come alongside others, we shift from being part of the problem to part of the solution.

A good way of doing that is to practise the HCR principles - and perhaps even to associate or affiliate with AFFIRM.

Other resources

Over the years our work has resulted in various other resources, which we also make available below.

Process notes:

Lessons learnt and stories of response:

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