Capacity building is a guiding principle of community-based participatory research (CBPR). This paper explores the interrelationship between capacity building and the concepts of readiness and intercommunity knowledge translation. A five-year study examined two long-standing projects for the primary prevention of type 2 diabetes in Aboriginal communities, to translate the lessons learned from those experiences into capacity for diabetes prevention in a third Aboriginal community. Reviewing external factors with the PRECEDE-PROCEED model of health promotion reveals that readiness for change requires both intra- and extra-community enabling factors including expertise from other communities, national and international organizations, federal health service funding, available research and intervention funding, and availability of external partners. These resources do not address the community health issue directly, but rather build capacity, objective and environmental, for the community to address the issue itself. It was found that a community that is internally ready, and situated within an external enabling environment rich in appropriate resources, can translate the knowledge from other successful community experiences to develop the capacity to initiate community health promotion for diabetes prevention.
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