Understanding the territory and the experiences of its citizens means seeing beyond the physical site, its infrastructure, and its layout. 

It means grasping the inherent complexity of the territory's past and present. This dynamic territory influences its inhabitants, providing them with opportunities to build their capacities or, adversely, causing constraints on their health and quality of life. 

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Understanding the territory means:

  • Drawing up its population profile;
  • Identifying the strengths and life experiences of its citizens in order to support them during interventions;
  • Understanding the needs and concerns of individuals and partners;
  • Identifying the community's leaders in order to work with them and their networks more effectively. 

All local interventions are rooted in the very heart of the territory, a living space that is strongly influenced by its inhabitants, by their interpersonal and social dynamics, by their demographic characteristics, by their history, by their culture, and so on.   

How to achieve the full potential of a local intervention

In order to fully achieve the potential of a local intervention, it is essential to:

  • Insightfully grasp the complex dynamics of the territory.
  • Understand the actual experience of the citizens living within the system.
  • Combine the population data (statistics) with the knowledge gained from actual experience in order to draw up a general background profile for the intervention.

Do you know those with key sources of information?

Community police officers, park and school monitors, and corner store workers are invaluable allies in becoming familiar with the territory and the actual experiences of its citizens. With their support, the intervention can be developed upon the strengths of its citizens and partners, as well as upon what the local environment has to offer. It thus becomes possible to mobilize certain leaders and to stimulate mutual aid.

To learn more about the three proposed strategies and to help you to take on this challenge, visit the French version of the web site at: http://www.csss-iugs.ca/comprendre-le-territoire

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