CE4AMR is a network which champions the use of community engagement, participatory and creative approaches to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in low and middle income countries. Rather than regarding these approaches as “add-ons” to traditional research, CE4AMR views them as integral to meeting global recommendations on tackling AMR as stipulated by the World Health Organisation and country-specific AMR action plans.
What’s the problem: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the evolution of treatment resistant pathogens. It is a One Health issue meaning it impacts across human, animal and environmental health and thus requires collaborative, cross-sectoral efforts to overcome it. However, the public must also be able to make informed decisions around AMR. This goes beyond the light-touch tactics of awareness raising and requires a truly collaborative approach to develop an understanding of how AMR impacts the daily lives of specific communities.
What’s our solution: Community engagement (CE) methodologies allow people to take ownership of a problem and develop solutions which are feasible, sustainable and locally relevant. Within CE4AMR we define community engagement as;
“a participatory process through which equitable partnerships are developed with community stakeholders, who are enabled to identify, develop and implement community-led sustainable solutions using existing or available resources to issues that are of concern to them and to the wider global community.”
CE methods harness the knowledge that already exists around a specific problem (AMR) but allow space for additional learning, and crucially the development of participants’ confidence to share this knowledge in an appropriate way for the benefit of their entire community.
This focus on local knowledge, skills and resources makes CE projects scalable, sustainable and relatable.