Safer communities

WHO Safe Communities Program

The Safe Community Program is a World Health Organisation (WHO) concept, developed to assist nations and communities to recognise and address injury as a major health issue.  The WHO has provided guidelines for the development of a Safe Community by defining twelve criteria which must be present for a community to be accredited as a member of the Safe Community Network (see Appendix 1).

The Safe Communities concept was first launched in Sweden in the mid 1980s.  It was developed in collaboration with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and was first successfully applied in small semi-rural communities.  The key to the success of the Safe Communities Program has been community participation and ownership with local organisations working together.

SHOROC Safe Communities Program

Since 1996, the SHOROC Councils (Manly, Mosman, Pittwater and Warringah Regional Organisation of Councils) have worked collaboratively with the Northern Sydney Area Health Service to establish a Safe Communities Program in the area. The goal of the SHOROC Safe Communities Program is to promote safety and reduce injury through community participation and stakeholder alliances at the local level.

The objectives are to:

  1. Develop a community based, community safety program which involves community participation
  2. Develop a collaborative program that builds partnerships between local government, health services, other agencies and the community, in order to promote safety and reduce injury
  3. Ensure effective communication of Safe Communities on local, national and international levels
  4. Develop an injury prevention program that addresses priority injury issues, high risk groups and environments for all ages
  5. Ensure sustainability of injury prevention in the SHOROC Region

In 2001, Liz de Rome and Bronwyn Barwell were engaged by SHOROC ( North Shore Regional Organisation of Councils comprising Mosman, Manly, Warringah and Pittwater Councils, to develop a framework and self audit tools for evaluation leading to accreditation of the SHOROC Safe Communities Program by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The project involved a program of stakeholder interviews, the development of an audit tool and set of indicators for the evaluation of the SHOROC Safe Communities Program. Reference: Safe Communities: An interim report on the SHOROC Safe Communities Program.

SHOROC was subsequently accredited as a member of the Safe Community Network.

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PO Box 177 Erskineville NSW Australia 2043
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