Community-based social innovations for healthy ageing


In response to drastic demographic and social changes as well as the rapidly growing need for care support among the ageing population, it is now timely to explore existing community-based social innovations (CBSIs) which exist to support older people at the community level.

Older people are not merely recipients of care. Older people need to have the skills to support themselves and their peers because the ultimate goal for older people is for them to be able to remain comfortably functional and autonomous, preferably in a place of their choice, for as long as they can.

To accomplish this, older people ageing in their environment must be able to care for themselves and yet receive care and treatments for any gaps, problems or serious symptoms they cannot manage on their own in a timely manner.

Key Points

Curative and acute care based health systems do not cater to the whole spectrum of needs that older people have

Community-based social innovations must be connected up with policy innovations to be sustainable

Improving health literacy leading to self-care may be key for the strengthening of health systems

More evidence describing CBSIs is needed to better the understanding of best practices and service delivery models that engage communities and that span a spectrum of health and social services. Evidence is also needed to dissect the intersections between the community and health/social delivery systems (and referral patterns), the relationship with various types and roles of health workers in the community, and enabling policies and financing.

The CBSI project


1) To build on the initial key findings from the first set of WKC-supported case studies in 2015 in LMICs, by focusing on data from middle- and high-income countries experiencing rapid demographic shifts towards becoming older and with, expectedly, more evolved CBSI programmes.

2) To evaluate and delineate the typology of community-based initiatives which exist globally amongst low-, middle- and high-income countries through both a systematic review of literature, published and gray, and by combining the 2015 WKC case studies and those in this terms of reference (TOR).

3) To produce publishable scientific articles.

Time line

Call for expression of interest for case study sites

Selection of case study

Systematic review on CBSI in High-income countries

Finalization of case studies and Expert consultation

Synthesis of findings and publication