4180.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 2:54 PM

Abstract #11096

Lessons learned from community-based public health initiative evaluation efforts

Amy M. Carroll, MPH and Sarah E. Samuels, DrPH. Samuels & Associates, 1660 Mason Street, #3, San Francisco, CA 94133, (415) 986-2550, acarroll@sirius.com

PURPOSE: 1) To review the evaluation efforts of comprehensive, community-based public health initiatives aimed at developing community leadership and capacity to improve local public health systems and health status. 2) To identify evaluation barriers, effective outcomes, successful evaluation plan models, and other lessons learned from these complex, multi-site evaluations. METHODS: A literature review and environmental scan were conducted to identify published and unpublished scientific articles and evaluation reports from community-based comprehensive initiatives with a public health focus. Two focus groups were then convened with key experts to discuss their experiences with such evaluation efforts. The first were evaluation and research professionals, and the second were community members who had contributed to such participatory evaluation research. FINDINGS: Emerging themes from the literature review, environmental scan and focus groups were synthesized and reported as case studies highlighting evaluations which have effectively and appropriately measured the impact of comprehensive community initiatives on community capacity, empowerment, and/or health status. The resultant recommendations formulate the most current, state-of-the-art experience and thinking in strategies and approaches to evaluating community-based public health initiatives. They are organized around three major themes: 1) evaluation design and implementation, 2) intermediate and long-term outcomes and indicators, and 3) evaluation products and contribution.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to:

  1. Identify six important challenges which contribute to the difficulty of appropriately measuring the impact of comprehensive initiatives on the communities they serve.
  2. Discuss the necessity of partnering with community members and organizations early in the program planning stage, in order to implement an evaluation which captures the impact of the initiative on community outcomes.
  3. Develop and implement an appropriate evaluation plan for a comprehensive, community-based, public health initiative.

Keywords: Community Health Programs, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA