The Project


The Project

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Project Title:  First Nation’s Health Development: Tools for Assessment of Health and Social Service Program Impacts on Community Wellness and CapacityThis project, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) and Northern Medical Services at the University of Saskatchewan, developed indicators and a framework for use by First Nations and northern health organizations to track the effects of health and human service programs under their jurisdiction on indicators of community health.In community interviews and focus groups, people talked about the ways they could tell whether their community was healthy.  From these stories, as well as from existing documents, an understanding of what it means to have a healthy community was created.  With this information, the project produced:

  1. A set of logic models (see Methods, Appendix C) describing the health and other social programs delivered in the research communities.

  2.  The Community Health Indicators Toolkit containing 165 potential indicators that were identified as important by community members and health providers.  The indicators were placed within a framework made up of larger areas (domains) and indicator categories, as shown in the framework diagram.

  A small pilot study was conducted in one northern Saskatchewan community to find out if there was information available on the indicators.  We identified where data was available at the regional and national levels for some of the indicators, and where no data existed we suggested survey-type questions that could be used for local level data collection.  We also pointed out areas where specific indicators still needed to be developed. 

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In the process of conducting the 2002 evaluation of transferred health services from First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) to the Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) in Saskatchewan, PAGC health managers expressed a desire to address questions beyond the scope and capacity of the evaluation that they felt were relevant to the ongoing development of health services in their member communities. They were especially interested in the issue of the health effects of other human services on community health and wellness. PAGC health managers were also interested in determining what information communities could collect to track and monitor their progress in the area of community health outcomes.

The First Nation’s Health Development: Tools for Program Planning and Evaluation project was built upon the 2002 evaluation to consider these issues. The primary objectives of this research project were 1) to develop an evaluation framework and 2) to develop indicators for use by First Nations health organizations to track the effects of health and human service programs under their jurisdiction. The outcome of this research project is the Community Health Indicators Toolkit.

The Community Health Indicators Toolkit is, in essence, the evaluative framework manual. It was designed to assist with the identification and collection of data, based on the framework domains and indicator categories, that would help measure progress on improving community health.

Please see the Methods section for more information on how we conducted the project.


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The research team would like to thank the leadership and membership of the participating communities for welcoming us into their communities and for their practical assistance and insightful contributions to the project.

This project was made possible by funding through grants from the following organizations:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF)

Northern Medical Services (NMS), University of Saskatchewan

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How to Reference

Jeffery, B., Abonyi, S., Hamilton, C., Bird, S., Denechezhe, M., Lidguerre, T., Michayluk, F., Thomas, L., Throassie, E., Whitecap, Z. (2006). Community Health Indicators Toolkit. University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit.

ISBN: 978-0-9780261-2-7 (hardcopy binder)
ISBN: 978-0-9780261-3-4 (CD ROM)


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