Publications

Moving towards Community Cultural Competence

31 October, 2019

Reference: Garrido, R., Garcia-Ramirez, M., & Balcazar, F. E. (2019). Moving towards Community Cultural Competence. International Journal of Intercultural Relations73, 89-101.

Abstract: Addressing the complex needs of migrants and ethnic minorities is a challenge for host communities, where the cultural competence of service providers is an important asset for combating inequities and encouraging well-being. However, efforts focused on promoting cultural competence have not been very effective in generating real changes to professional practice, organizations and/or communities. Current models of cultural competence are primarily centered on the personal capabilities of professionals and on organizational standards, overlooking their interdependence with community contexts. To address these challenges, this study introduces the Community Psychology approach and explores the concept of Community Cultural Competence (CCC) as a way of including the community context in cultural competence frameworks and using it to promote migrant and ethnic minority health equity. CCC is defined as a multilevel and multidimensional process of personal development that implies the acquisition of critical awareness, responsiveness to diversity, capacity to act within the organization, and capacity to act within the community. These competences strengthen the effectiveness and influence of providers across different levels or work environments—i.e., intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, and community. This paper describes a mixed-method study carried out in southern Spain in three different contexts (i.e., reception, transition and settlement of migrants). Data collection involved a questionnaire administered to 525 community service providers. The results were shared in community forums attended by multiple agents, who put forward recommendations for interpreting the results and transferring them to local actions. Major theoretical contributions and suggestions for improving CCC are discussed.