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Saúde e Sociedade

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SETTI, Andréia Faraoni Freitas  and  BOGUS, Cláudia Maria. Community participation in an intervention program developed in a protected area. Saude soc. [online]. 2010, vol.19, n.4, pp.946-960. ISSN 0104-1290.

This article discusses the concepts of participation and empowerment in Health Promotion and Sustainable Development, considering the local implementation agendas:/ Healthy Cities and Agenda 21, and taking into account the importance of evaluation in this context. This was achieved through the analysis of an intervention in an area of water springs - Programa Bairro Ecológico (PBE - Ecological/ Neighborhood Program) -, which/ was developed in 51 neighborhoods of/ the city of São Bernardo do Campo, state of São Paulo, Brazil. The study aimed to evaluate the processes of community/ participation and empowerment through the actions triggered by the PBE. Questionnaires were administered to and/ focal groups were conducted with residents of neighborhoods where the intervention took place./ Individual interviews were performed with managers of the program and/ of the Judiciary. Results indicated that participation/ in the implementation of/ PBE favored the individual and group empowerment, present in both the studied communities. The communities became more organized. There is evidence that the decision-making processes are centralized. Nevertheless, the communities feel that their participation in the program brings them many good things. There was a participatory process in the development of the program, although some accounts point to mandatory participation. It is important to highlight the impact of leadership involvement and strengthening in the implementation and sustainability of the program. Regarding the latter, it was found that environmental awareness has been a determining factor for the implementation and maintenance of actions over time.

Keywords : Participation; Empowerment; Health Promotion; Sustainable Development; Agenda 21; Healthy Cities.

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