Community participation in health management: an evaluation of the UNI Program experience

This article reviews the results of the UNI Program, promoted by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation in 1993-2003 to improve education in the various health professions in Latin America. Universities, local health services and community organizations were invited to apply in partnership for Institutional grants from the Foundation to develop innovative educational practices and to provide continuous information with which the UNI Program - Una Nueva Iniciativa en la Educación de los Profesionales de la Salud: Unión con la Comunidad - could be evaluated. A central and decisive dimension of the UNI Program was the cooperation between: universities, health services and the community; their engagement in the process of change and innovation contributed to internal modifications in each of them and to improvements at city and local level. The evaluation of the 21 UNI Program projects on which this article is based focused on the local populations and its organizations, concentrating on the three dimensions that the communities themselves considered most relevant for evaluation: identifying conditions which contribute towards the construction of citizenship, increasing intergenerational expectations, and improving living conditions.

Social participation; evaluation; social capital; partnership; medical education

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