Connected health security knowledge in Mekong Communities

What we aim to achieve:

A deeper understanding of how Mekong communities come to understand health and what action they take, and why.

How we will achieve it:  

By developing ways in which local services and authorities can efficiently identify where and how health knowledge is held in a particular community.


  • Deakin University, Australia
  • Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
  • Thammasat University, Thailand
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodia
  • National Centre for Health promotion, Ministry of Health, Cambodia
  • Ministry of Health, Department of Communicable Disease Control, Cambodia
  • National University of Laos
  • The University of Health Sciences, Laos


Laos, Cambodia

Funding: $250,000 co-funded by ACIAR and DFAT.

Many health security threats, including threats arising from interactions between human and animal health, have arisen in remote areas in South East Asian, including in areas with many minority language groups. These people often live in extremely fragile circumstances with many risks to their daily existence and livelihoods, which means they cannot keep all potential risks as front-of-mind issues. In addition, their relationships with agricultural, health and other organisations is often influenced by cultural differences.

This project will build on a recent global trend in the field of public health and health promotion to go back to the roots to gain a deep understanding on:

  • what individuals actually understand
  • how they come to understand it, and
  • how and why they take action.

This project will develop ways in which local services and authorities (e.g. health servicies, municipalities, regional health authorities) can efficiently identify where and how knowledge is held in a particular community, how this and new knowledge needs to be structured to become embedded in a community, and processes for this knowledge to be extracted and used at times of need.

Chief Investigator:

Dr Richard Osborne (Swinburne University of Technology)