Home > Healthy Communities Project: impact evaluation report October 2021 - January 2023.

TASC. (2023) Healthy Communities Project: impact evaluation report October 2021 - January 2023. Dublin: TASC.

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This report details the implementation of the Healthy Communities Programme in the Dublin North East Inner City (NEIC) from the conception of the project to its current status.

The North East Inner City (NEIC) has a population of 46,123 and experiences higher levels of need than the wider Dublin city area and the country nationally. Almost 16% of people living in the NEIC experience high levels of socioeconomic deprivation (NEIC, 2021), with pockets of poverty and social exclusion. In 2017, the Mulvey report focused on the social and economic challenges faced by the NEIC. It also outlined potential strategies for regeneration and brought together key stakeholders (statutory, community & voluntary sector) from the area. In 2020, the HSE Health and Wellbeing division in Dublin North City and County were asked to develop a proposal that would improve the health and wellbeing of the population in the NEIC. The project proposed was based on learning from a number of well-established projects with a focus on community health work and social prescribing. It also incorporated existing evidence-based initiatives. 

The programme represented a new multifaceted place-based way of working to reduce health inequalities in a community experiencing disadvantage. The Dublin Inner City Community Co-operative Society Limited (the Co-op) was successful in the tender process in August 2020 to set up and deliver the agreed programme of work. The NEIC Healthy Communities Programme delivered by the Co-op then became aligned to the National Sláintecare Healthy Communities model in 2021. The goal of the Healthy Communities Programme in the NEIC is to tackle health inequalities. This is achieved through the delivery of targeted evidence-based initiatives such as social prescribing, Healthy Food Made Easy, We Can Quit, stress management programmes, Health Literacy and Smoke Free Homes. 

Research was commissioned by the HSE and completed by TASC in 2021 and the NEIC Programme Implementation Board agreed to fund continuous research into 2022. This research focuses on two parts:
1. Evaluate the impact of the Healthy Communities Team on the effectiveness of the delivery of the programme.
2. Continued evaluation of the overall Healthy Communities Programme on participants. 

The research involves a mixed methods approach including qualitative interviews, focus groups and self-reflections from stakeholders and quantitative data from programme management software and pre- and post- course questionnaires. The findings from this report demonstrate a strong sense of teamwork and partnership both internally (e.g. within the Healthy Communities Programme team) and externally (between the Co-op, HSE and Department of Health). They also highlight the positive impact of the local community health team in supporting the implementation of and participation in the suite of programmes delivered. This evaluation both validates the approach that has been taken in the NEIC Healthy Communities Programme and provides a framework to build on the progress to date in tackling health inequalities in the NEIC.

See also, related 8 minute video on Vimeo.

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