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Health Promot Int. 2003 Sep;18(3):237-45.

The process and impact of implementing injury prevention projects in smaller communities in New Zealand.

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  • 1Injury Prevention Research Unit, University of Otago, New Zealand.


It has been argued that developing community projects is an effective means by which to reduce injury. Two pilot community injury prevention projects (CIPPs) were established in small communities in New Zealand based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Safe Community model. The process and impact of the implementation of these CIPPs was monitored over 3 years. The setting was two small New Zealand communities with populations of <10 000. An external process and impact evaluation was conducted, with data gathered from written documentation, informant interviews and observation. The WHO Safe Community criteria formed the basis of the evaluation framework used. Other essential factors included were identified through the literature and the projects themselves. Findings from each CIPP were considered independently, followed by an examination of the differences observed. The findings from the evaluation of the implementation of these CIPPs are reported in relation to the themes identified in the evaluation framework, namely: community context, ownership and participation, focus and planning, data collection, leadership, management, sustainability and external links. Despite the different contexts, a common conclusion was that if the CIPPs' success was dependent on achieving a meaningful reduction of injury, they were unlikely to succeed. There were, however, a number of strategies and outputs for achieving change that could contribute to increasing safety for the population of interest. These were closely linked to community development strategies and needed greater acknowledgement in the evolution of the CIPPs. Critical to the development of the CIPPs were community capacity and the context in which the projects were operating. These conclusions are likely to apply to other projects in such settings, irrespective of the health outcomes sought.

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