/ Adaptation, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive community intervention model to reduce opioid-related harm (Capacity Building Model)
/ Collaborators: Dr. Pamela Leece (Public Health Ontario), Dr. Kate Sellen, Canadian Association of People who use Drugs (CAPUD)
/ Sponsor: Public Health Ontario (PHO)
Key Words: Public health, opioid crisis, overdose, capacity building, co-design
In response to the opioid crisis, many communities across Ontario have created and developed their Opioid Action plan to address the issue at the local level. The Community Opioid / Overdose Capacity Building (COM-CAP) project, led by the Public Health Ontario (PHO) aims to reduce opioid-related harms at the community level by working with communities to identify, develop, and evaluate supports to address local needs around opioid planning. Health Canada has funded Public Health Ontario (PHO) for a four-year project to develop a capacity-building model to support comprehensive community opioid plans in Ontario.
Background: The opioid epidemic is a global issue with a significant impact on population health and well-being. In 2016, Health Canada identified the opioid epidemic as a national public health crisis with devastating consequences for individuals and families across the country. The overwhelming increases of overdose deaths has caused a broad national attempt and coalition to tackle this complex health and social issue. The Government of Canada is committed to taking strong evidence-based supported action on Canada’s opioid crisis through the public health approaches.
Need: The COM-CAP project aims to support the work of organizations leading community opioid related plans by designing a capacity-building model that is evidence-based and multi-dimensional in providing on-going support that promotes expansion and sustainability. (Public Health Ontario, 2019)
What is Community Capacity Building?
“Capacity building is a process by which individuals, groups, institutions, organizations and societies enhance their abilities to identify and meet development challenges in a sustainable manner” (Matachi, 2006). Community capacity building approach addressing various factors that are beyond just people, plans, and skills. Capacity building refers to the ability of individuals, organizations, and also society as a whole to become enable to define the issues at the local context by analyzing their environment, collaborate on managing and resolving conflicts, formulate strategies and provide action plans, and also to acquire and mobilize resources (Lavergne & Saxby, 2001).
As stated in the Community capacity building handbook (Frank & Smith, 1999), capacity building consists of different components that should be considered in a capacity building process, including: community’s skills, knowledge and abilities; community’s ability to identify and access opportunities; motivation to carry out initiatives; financial and physical resources; strong leadership and participation structures; and enabling policies.
The COM-CAP project consists of various phases, including: Data collection (through Situational Assessment process), identifying and designing of the project tool(s), and implementation and evaluation of the intervention.
The "From Design to Action" co-design workshop was part of the research and design process of the COM-CAP project. The participatory mindset of the workshop characterized by this belief that all diverse and relevant stakeholders involved in opioid-related plans should involve and engage in the project planning. The COM-CAP project core team at Public Health Ontario (PHO) hosted the full-day workshop on March 9, 2020 in downtown Toronto. The PHO and the Health Design Studio at OCADU teams partnered to lead this full-day event that brought together 59 participants from the various community sectors to share their perspectives and discuss ideas to identify and prioritize the most important areas of support that the COM-CAP project should focus on.
The workshop applied method and probing techniques (generative methods) aimed to engage the participants in a productive collaboration and discussion around the topic by enabling them to delve deeper in the issue. In order to provide the opportunity to engage participants, and to facilitate the discussion process, the different co-design techniques and tools were utilized, including: scenarios and personas (as a subject of conversations), various cards (as tools for conversation), and matrix (as an enabler of ideation). The main goal of the workshop was to engage the participants in a collaborative discussion to:
The project is ongoing and will be updated periodically throughout the process.