NOW That’s SWOT I Call PHAST: Grenada Red Cross Edition

NOW That's SWOT I Call PHAST - Grenada Red Cross Edition

Anna Salomonsson, Epidemiology Student

Two weeks before our trip to Grenada, I never expected the dress code to be what would be keeping me up at night – who invented this ‘smart casual’ thing??

Once I have figured out what to wear, I’ll be super excited to spend a week in the beautiful Caribbean nation of Grenada, away from Michigan winter.

As part of a Public Health Action Support Team (PHAST) course, our team of three has worked with our main contacts at the Grenada Red Cross Society (GRCS) to gain a thorough understanding of our task for the week – to conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to inform their strategic planning efforts. We’ll be performing qualitative interviews in order to gather diverse perspectives on the key factors that contribute to or hinder the organization’s ability to serve their community. Our contacts also suggested we do some random ‘man on the street’ interviews when we’re out and about so that we can gauge the general population’s awareness and perception of their organization. I’m not sure how good I’ll be at approaching strangers while they’re grocery shopping, but this sounds like a lot of fun and I’m up for the challenge!

Since we will have such a limited time frame to complete this work on the island, I’m learning through our preparation work the importance of doing background research before such projects. We need to gather as much information as possible before we arrive so we can hit the ground running with our interviews. Our team has been conducting research into the organization’s structure, services, legacy, and reputation, as well as into the country’s social, economic, political, historical, and other factors that could impact our findings. This will help us to understand the context behind our interviewees’ insights to better identify relevant themes that arise.

This project is also a lesson on entering and collaborating with communities in public health work. Throughout our public health training, we have been reminded of the care, sincerity, and humility with which we must approach partnering with communities other than our own and appreciating our collaborators and the nuances of cultures we encounter. I am so looking forward to putting myself to the test and living these values through my work.

So, how will it go? Find out next time on NOW That’s SWOT I Call PHAST:  Grenada Red Cross Edition!

Recent Posts

  • USVI Part 2: The Reckoning
  • Beaches, Spices, Chocolate and.. Drugs?
  • 2020 PHAST Grenada Bloggers
  • Reflections on Experience on St. Croix and St. Thomas
  • Looking Forward
  • Challenges and Prospects: Disasters, Climate Change, and Public Health