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The Power of Collaborative Solutions – Global applications January 14, 2011

Posted by tomwolff in : Coalition Building, Collaborative Solutions , trackback

Out of the Box Prize: Now YOU can help choose the winners from among ten amazing global innovations.

For many years I have been a partner and contributor with the Community Tool Box (CTB) (ctb.edu.ku) team on the development of this rich web site with 7,000 pages of free downloadable material on community health and development. The CTB is used by hundreds of thousands community members from around the world.

With this global view in mind, the CTB established the Out of the Box Prize to honor innovative approaches to promoting community health and development worldwide. By the closing date of October 31, we were overwhelmed by the positive response we had received – more than 300 groups from 42 countries had applied! Applicants came in from around the globe – from the Americas to Zambia, and many countries in between. Applicants’ work included efforts to improve community health and development in a variety of creative ways — addressing issues of importance to communities including the environment, HIV/AIDS, addressing Millennium Development Goals, rallying neighborhoods together for change, and improving the public’s health.

Now all of you can be part of the process of picking the top finalists! After making difficult decisions our international panel of judges has narrowed the list to the top ten and now it is time for the public to pick the finalist. So become part of the process. You can review the inspiring innovations of the ten finalists by visiting http://ctb.ku.edu/en/out_of_the_box/finalists.aspx. We also invite you to vote for up to three of your favorite projects to receive the Grand Prize of $5,000 or the Second Prize of $2,000. To vote, simply go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PCMD7Z8. (Voting ends on January 31, 2011 and winners will be announced February 15, 2011.)

You will really enjoy reading about these amazing community innovations.

As someone who read many of the applications a number of trends in the best submissions struck me:

They are asset based – They demonstrate deep respect for the communities they worked with. The start with the assumption that the residents have the skills to do the work.

They employ grassroots models: The interventions were delivered by the community residents themselves.

They promoted clear cost effective solutions.

Sustainability was built in – the interventions were designed to be self sustaining from the start

They took a community wide perspective .They understood the vast scope of the issues and that the problems the sought to address exist in a context of the broader social determinants of health.

So which of the top ten inspired you the most?

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1. Steve Fawcett - January 19, 2011

Tom, you do a beautiful job of conveying the richness of Out of the Box Prize finalists and contributors. As you note, they reflect key attributes of community work throughout the world–based on local strengths and resources, sustainable, and attempting to change the conditions that affect health and human development.

This blog is a terrific source of information and inspiration! Thank you.

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