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Building Cross-Sector Collaboration to Improve Community Health

Published in JHHSA, Vol. 42 No. 4

Urban slums present complex challenges. In 2015, the Old Fadama slum of Accra, Ghana, was home to over 100,000 people and had virtually no water or sanitation infrastructure, contributing to diminished quality of health and frequent cholera outbreaks. Beginning with three stakeholders, participatory action researchers (PAR) introduced the cross-sector collaboration evidence base and used interviews, focus groups, and a community survey to create priorities, strategies, and a latrine installation project. Latrine installation resulted in city sanitation policy change. The strategy was adopted by local businesses, creating a path to sustainability and freeing the stakeholders to develop a new strategy. This project responded to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17, focusing on partnerships, in order to achieve SDG 3, good health and well-being, and SDG 6, clean water and sanitation. The PAR intervention created in this phase has been applied to new challenges in Accra’s urban slums and underserved rural areas in northern Ghana, with expanded data collection from more than 4,000 stakeholders.

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