course ID: 2021_cCBPM

Community-based participatory methods in public health


The importance of Community-Based Participatory Methods (CBPM) is increasingly recognised within the field of Public Health. Participatory approaches are in line with the shift towards ecological models which bring the community at the heart of interventions, services, and policies. CBPM aim to engage individuals, hospitals, health service providers, social organisations, and government officials to develop partnerships and co-create positive change. CBPM enable public health professionals, researchers and communities to work as partners in the design, execution, and application of programmes and services that address their health needs. CBPM are of particular relevance in the context of the Covid-19 global crisis. This pandemic has revealed once again the impact of health inequalities on vulnerable groups. Community engagement and cooperation are needed more than ever to develop and harness the communal effort required to support sustainable pandemic management responses that are grounded in local realities and needs. CBPM are uniquely positioned to ensure that responses are based on understanding, engaging and working with communities.

This course aims to provide participants with knowledge about the key principles, methods, concepts and techniques of community-based participatory methods and the practical application of CBPM in the context of public health. Participants will learn how CBPM can be applied in the design, implementation and evaluation of public health programmes (i.e. health promotion, prevention of disease and management of chronic illness). It will also facilitate a space of reflection to examine how CBPM can be used to support the response to the Covid-19 pandemic including vaccination efforts and interventions to tackle health inequalities.   


At the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • Understand why and for which purposes community-based participatory methods are useful;
  • Understand key concepts, methods, and applications of community-based participatory methods;
  • Understand how to apply community-based participatory methods in health programmes;
  • Understand which participatory methods are appropriate for community-based interventions;
  • Be able to critically assess the strengths and limitations of community-based participatory methods in public health.

Pedagogical method:

The course will consist of research informed teaching, interactive sessions, lectures and experiential learning activities.

Case studies and examples from around the world to illustrate applications of CBPM in different contexts and countries.

Exercises, group discussion and presentations will be used to assess understanding.

Feedback will be provided for these activities.

Assessment procedure:

  • Group work: Create a proposal/plan for a community based participatory project (this can be based on students’ own experience or to address a health problem in their own country).
  • A 10-minute PowerPoint/Prezi presentation of the plan to deliver in class.
  • Contribution to class, forum discussions and exercises.

Maria Amalia Pesantes

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology Dickinson College, USA

Research Associate at CRONICAS, Centre of Excellence in Chronic Conditions, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

Nadina Luca

Lecturer/Assistant Professor of Marketing, The York Management School, University of York, York, United Kingdom 

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK

Chair of the European Social Marketing Association (ESMA) Board