Rural Communities for Ageing-Well in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa

A Scoping Review Protocol

Keywords: rural communities, remote communities, Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa, older adults, wellbeing


Background: A key action item of the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing is to “Ensure that communities foster the abilities of older people” (WHO 2020, p. 9). The global focus on making communities age-friendly presumes community capacity to be supportive, although there has been little exploration of key features of rural communities that are central to their supportiveness. Knowledge gaps are especially evident in the global south and in rural and remote communities in these regions where a significant population of older people still lives and where communities themselves may be poorly resourced.

Methods/Design: This scoping review is conducted to determine the state of knowledge of community capacity to foster wellbeing in older adults in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. It follows the PRISMA guidelines for scoping reviews.  To ensure a comprehensive review, searches are conducted across peer reviewed journals, published between 2010-2021, using databases such as Medline, CINHAIL, SOCIndex, PsychInfo and region-specific databases such as LILACS (Literature from Latina America and Caribbean on Health Sciences) and AJOL (African Journals OnLine). The search strategy allows for articles in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Afrikaans. Results of the review will inform the WHO age-friendly communities initiative in these regions.

Discussion: This review will identify elements of rural and remote communities in SubSaharan Africa and Latin America that influence the health, social, material, and environmental wellbeing of older adults.  The findings will inform policy and development actions at the community level.