Community involvement is a key element of the Primary Health Care (PHC) approach, and thus an essential topic on a course for managers of Primary Health Care programmes. This paper describes the teaching approach adopted on the Management for Primary Health Care course-a 3-month programme for PHC managers from developing countries, offered by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, which attempts to overcome the difficulty of discussing this subject without a common reference point. Following a series of visits to community organizations in Liverpool, participants analyse factors which have influenced the formation and operation of these groups. Whilst preparing a report on key issues facing the community groups, and developing an analytic framework based on the Liverpool experience, participants are encouraged to draw parallels with their own working situation. Several advantages of this approach have been identified in the paper, but course organizers will have to balance these potential benefits with the investment of time and resources required to make it a success.
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