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Community-based social innovations (CBSIs) are initiatives that seek to empower older people to improve their self-efficacy in caring for themselves and their peers, maintain their well-being and promote social cohesion and inclusiveness.

While they have the potential to improve care and autonomy of older people, and to transform healthcare systems, more evidence is needed on CBSIs to improve the understanding of best practices and service delivery models that engage communities and span a spectrum of health and social services.

The study was commissioned by the World Health Organization Centre for Health Development Kobe (WHO-WKC) with the aim to identify how these innovations are functioning across a number of rapidly ageing countries and the policies, programmes and health system factors underpinning their success. It involves the following countries: Chile, China, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Lebanon, Russian Federation, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Ukraine and Viet Nam.

At the end of the initiative it has been demonstrated that the main health benefits arisen from CBSIs are psycho-social. Moreover, CBSIs can also empower people in deciding about health and social care options and empower informal carers –many of whom are women.
For further information about the WHO-WKC or the whole study please visit here.