- Our study explored community capacity to adapt and change as an important component of improving health and wellbeing.
- We looked at community resources that enable change and adaptation. These included traditional economic resources, such as capital, infrastructure and materials, as well as less tangible resources such as emotional, social and relational resources.
- The project identified a diverse range of community resources and how they are identified, valued, harnessed and grown. These included resources such as social networks, trust, community narratives, culture, a sense of hope, and self and collective efficacy.
- The findings suggest we need to consider emotional, social and relational resources within communities as enablers of health improvement. Communities may first need investments that build social networks, trust, confidence, a sense of belonging and hope before they are ready to engage with chronic disease prevention.
- The findings also suggest the creation or use of these resources may depend on the nature of investments. Short-term funding, rigid conditions and predetermined outcome measures may undermine the development of key resources needed to improve community health and wellbeing.
- By highlighting the diversity and value of community resources, we hope to develop more effective ways of investing to improve community health and wellbeing.