Socializing evidence for participatory action: Community-led peace and innovation initiative.
Connect the community to evidence & resources to implement ideas for peace and innovation with economic incentive and better health outcomes
Figure 1: Risk of poor health outcomes (arboviral infections: dengue, chikungunya, and Zika) was clustered near Aguablanca in Cali, Colombia
Figure 2: We asked the community why the risk of arboviral infection was so high. They identified lack of preventive services, mosquito habitats, and violence as barriers to health.
Figure 3: The community told us that security was a major barrier to receiving preventative health services. The data showed that violence is also clustered in the region of Aguablanca and is associated with risk of poor health outcomes (dengue), independent of socioeconomic status.
While rates of violence against women appear to be low in the official reported statistics, we will hold specific female focus groups to discuss the true burden of gender-based violence.
Figure 4: We partner with communities to help them identify and solve their development challenges in their own terms and in a sustainable manner, based on the participatory search, lay interpretation and public discussion of local evidence. This process, described by CIET (www.ciet.org), is called SEPA: socializing evidence for participatory action.
We will present these evidence to community stakeholders and discuss and implement possible interventions, one of which we describe here.
Figure 5: The Stanford Peace and Innovation Lab believes in a fundamental connection between innovation and peace. Innovation enables creation of new value that is mutually beneficial. This increases our ability to collaborate across boundaries (gangs & SES). We could support diverse teams to create innovative products that promote health and peace. The profit generated by these social entrepreneurs would feedback into the community to create economic incentive to continue collaborations.
Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)
Cali, Colombia experiences ~64/100,000 murders annually (top 20 most dangerous cities globally). Our goal is to engage with the community to design an intervention to promote peace, health, and profit in the community. We aim to partner with communities to help them identify and solve their development challenges in their own terms in a sustainable manner, based on the participatory search, lay interpretation and public discussion of local evidence. This process described by CIET is socializing evidence for participatory action (Fig 2). During the first 6 months, we will execute one-on-one interviews and focus group discussions with community members from diverse background to understand the underlying sources of violence and proposed solutions. Results will be organized around the Stanford Peace and Innovation Lab framework (Fig 5): by enabling collaboration, we create innovation, resulting in new value and mutual benefit, and peace. Next, we put these ideas into practice with the community. We found that communities with high-arboviral-burdens experience higher rates of violence (Figs 1 & 3) in the informal settlements of Aguablanca in Cali. Violence was cited as a barrier to receiving preventative services (Fig 2). Ideas to break the cycle of violence and poor health include initiatives like ‘treasure for trash’, ‘soap opera’s targeting beliefs and attitudes focusing on peace and health’, or ‘social entrepreneur incubator’ (Fig. 5). For the latter, next steps could include inviting diverse teams to submit ideas for peace or health-promoting social businesses; assisting applicants in preparing business plans to reach their goals; and connecting them with mentors in the community to refine and promote ideas. This includes workshops, computer and writing labs, and one-on-one mentorship. Top applicants will receive a monthly stipend and startup costs to launch their social business, and continued mentorship with the goal of reaching profitability, peace, and health.
Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)
Communicating with local leaders and community health workers, we will invite all community members from informal settlements and the community of Auguablanca, Cali, Colombia to a general meeting to introduce the SEPA process. Smaller focus groups will be formed (e.g. female-based & community health), and one-on-one interviews (gang) will be conducted with local leaders and community health workers. Gang leaders will be engaged; but, the reasons people join gangs often start in young childhood, in violent or at least neglectful home, school, and/or community environments thus female-focused solutions will be specifically encouraged. In the social entrepreneurship example, underemployment is high and opportunities low in this community. This program would provide a profitable way for entrepreneurs to work together to create health and peace for profit. These entrepreneurs are part of the informal settlements which are the results of the complex socio-political climate in Colombia.
How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)
Our idea is unique on three fronts: we will (1) use evidence-based rather than expert-based approach, (2) use the knowledge of the community from diverse backgrounds (i.e., race, neighborhood, gangs, socio-economic status), service users and providers, and those who are disenfranchised, rather than a one-way knowledge transfer from authoritative sources, and (3) partner with local organizations in Colombia and Stanford University to use all existing expertise in this field and learn from previous mistakes. The socializing process will generate new knowledge and builds upon it to propel action and move onto new cycles of research. The aim will be to raise collective awareness and interest around the issues of violence, health, and prosperity, and contribute to an informed, self-sustained environment for participatory action and change. In Cali, Colombia, we will be the first to ask communities to address this intersection and promote their innovative thinking for solutions.
Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)
Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.
Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)
My home institution (http://med.stanford.edu/pedsid.html ; https://labeaudlab.wordpress.com/) is an arbovirology lab. One of our long-term goals is to optimize control strategies to prevent these emerging infections. The intersection that we are interested in will require diverse collaborations. We hope to engage the Peace and innovation lab at Stanford (https://peaceinnovation.stanford.edu/), and Vallenpaz (http://vallenpaz.org.co/) from Cali, Colombia.
Organization Filing Status
Yes, we are a registered company.
In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.
Living in Cali, Colombia during the chikungunya and Zika outbreaks, we asked the community members to introduce us to the highest risk areas for infection. We found that the most important risk in these communities is violence and mosquito-borne diseases are secondary. We propose to bring communities together to promote peace and health through innovation.
Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).
The internal conflict in Colombia has displaced many people who arrive to cities like Cali without the resources to buy or rent housing. This contributed to informal settlements on the outskirts of the city, creating fragmented communities with invisible borders and gang activity. In addition to daily violence people experience, communities are deprived of basic services like mosquito control and sanitation, and economic opportunities.
We will work with local community to understand the evidence and design and implement the community’s proposed projects to enable peace, health, and prosperity. Previous studies on violence have shown that rather than enacting or enforcing stricter laws, policymakers should focus on (1) ‘diversity’, (2) ‘disorder’, and (3) ‘community decline’. We strongly believe that proposed examples ‘Treasure for trash’, ‘soap operas’, and ‘social entrepreneur incubator’ touch exactly on these three issues. We are excited to hear from the local communities!
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
Our collaborators at Stanford University (U.) include experts in gender-based violence, peace and innovation, and arbovirology. Partners at the GIS Health & Hazards Lab at Kent State U. are pioneering new methods to measure environmental context. Previously, we worked with the Secretaria de Salud Municipal (SOH) and ICESI and Libre U. to understand the outbreaks of arboviral disease and homicide risk. We have recently partnered with The SOH, Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Medicas (CIDEIM), and La Fundación Valle de Lili (FVL) to validate a mobile application to diagnose acute febrile illness and share the data with physicians and the SOH in real time to create an arboviral early warning system. We hosted the entrepreneurs from Campus Nova at Javeriana U. when they visited the bay areas in 2016 and are looking forward to working more closely with this group of mentors and entrepreneurs from Cali, Colombia. We also hope to engage Cali-based Vallenpaz.
Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)
The informal settlement in Cali, Colombia has a surplus of young people ready to work. The secretary of health (SOH) is supportive of efforts to prevent violence and promote health in the city. The office of entrepreneurship at Javeriana University is a leader in mentorship and training of new entrepreneurs with years of experience and an extensive network of collaborators both in Cali and worldwide.
Our idea is focused on Cali, Colombia, where we have preliminary data to support our project.
How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)
36 months. We propose to conduct focus groups and community meetings in the first six months of the project and implement the solution in the following 30 months.
Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)