HOW TO ENABLE ADULTS AND SENIOR CITIZENS TO ACTIVELY TAKE PART IN CANCER-PREVENTIVE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ACTIONS
Since the beginning of the year, the UcanACT consortium has worked on a number of core deliverables that will be implemented within the implementation phase of the project. They are all designed to meet the project's overall objective, aiming at engaging adults and senior citizens to practice physical activity as a tool for cancer prevention within public urban green spaces. The Citizens Engagement Strategy (CES) is the first core deliverable to have been published to date and to be accessible.
The Citizens Engagement Strategy has been conceived as a participative approach to empower citizens to take an active attitude towards their health. In the framework of the UcanACT project, the Strategy aims to provide tools, methods and activities for the engagement of the project target group, with the objective of maintaining their motivation to actively take part in the Pilot cancer-preventive physical activity actions (CPPA). The UcanACT project is targeting adults and senior citizens over 50 years who never have suffered from cancer or never had a cancer diagnosis, who were diagnosed with cancer or are in recovery from cancer, or adults and senior citizens over 50 years of age living with cancer.
The Pilot CPPA actions – understood as a combination of exercises of moderate intensity aimed at prevention of cancer diseases - will be implemented within two rounds in the three pilot territories of the project, namely Bologna (Italy), Kilkenny (Ireland) and Munich (Germany).
The UcanACT consortium defines the Citizens Engagement Strategy as a way to build and sustain relationships between public services and the target group, helping them both to understand and take action on the needs or issues that communities experience. The Strategy intends to involve all the stakeholders in the project implementation (administrators of municipalities, health professionals…) to gauge public interest, feedback, concerns and aspirations of citizens.
The Citizens Engagement Strategy also provides general guiding principles, methods and tools for a participatory definition of the CES, facilitating its replicability by other interested stakeholders. Among them are:
Foster a safe & trusting environment to enable citizens to provide input;
Ensure citizens’ early involvement;
Share decision-making and governance control with citizens;
Invest in citizens who feel they lack the skills and confidence to engage;
Create quick and tangible wins and ensure citizens’ input is actually used.
To read the Citizens Engagement Strategy and learn more about this participatory process, we invite you to click here.
Two other core project deliverables, the Practical Intervention Methodology and the UcanACT MOOC, will be published in the following months. The Methodology will provide conceptual and methodological bases for implementation of the Pilot CPPA actions, while the second will be created to capacitate physiotherapists and other health professionals on delivering the Practical Intervention Methodology and ensure the quality of its implementation.
Stay tuned to find out more about the project progress!