Strategic Prevention Framework

Cultural Competence
Are we honoring our community's uniqueness?

Cultural Competence is one of the two underlying parts of the entire Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), and it needs to be an ongoing process involving local people of diverse populations reflective of the community. This component includes, and goes beyond race and ethnicity, and can refer to a variety of important characteristics including age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, income level, education, geographical location, and occupation. Valuing cultural competence helps community coalitions answer the question: Who are we and how do we respect our values, traditions, beliefs, perspectives and uniqueness?

Key things to keep in mind:
  • Cultural competence is an evolving, dynamic process that changes over time
  • Ensure coalition members understand the cultural context of the community (including cultural norms, values, traditions, and customs)
  • Conduct ongoing assessment of community members' cultural competence and experiences working with diverse communities
  • Invest in capacity building for cultural competency and inclusion
  • Include representation of the population selected for change
  • Practice respectful and responsive partnership incorporating diversity
  • Consider the community's imbalances of power in each step of the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), and especially in communication and creating awareness of the community’s goals and efforts
  • Describe how local culture shapes behaviors, especially as related to illness and health