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Evaluation findings from the California Healthy Cities and Communities Initiative (1998-2003): Changes in civic participation

Michelle Crozier Kegler, DrPH, MPH1, Barbara L. Norton, MPH, MBA2, Robert E. Aronson, DrPH, MPH3, Kai H. Young4, Arma Fernandez4, Joan M. Twiss, MA5, Shirley Duma, MA6, and Joy Dickinson, BA6. (1) Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, 404/727-9957, mkegler@sph.emory.edu, (2) Department of Health Promotion Sciences, College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma, P.O. Box 26901, Room 369, Oklahoma City, OK 73190, (3) School of Health & Human Performance, Dept. of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 437 HHP Bldg, P.O. Box 26169, Greensboro, NC 27402-6169, (4) Department of Behavioral Science & Health Education, Emory University, Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333, (5) Center for Civic Partnerships, 1851 Heritage Lane, Suite 250, Sacramento, CA 95815, (6) Center for Civic Partnerships, California Healthy Cities and Communities, 1851 Heritage Lane, Suite 250, Sacramento, CA 95815

Identifying, tapping and strengthening community assets - including residents, informal community leaders and social networks - can help to build a strong foundation for community health improvement efforts. Outcomes related to civic participation represent one of five levels of the social ecology examined in an evaluation of the California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC) initiative. In defining civic participation outcomes, we chose to examine a wide range of potential effects, from resident involvement, to new civic leadership opportunities, to the building of social capital and trust. The evaluation design was a multiple case study of 20 participating communities with cross-case analysis. Data collection involved: review of program documents; participant surveys in the first and third years of the project (n=330 and N=243, respectively); 165 in-depth interviews with local coordinators, community leaders, sponsoring organization directors and CHCC staff; and 26 focus groups in 9 communities selected for site visits (n=176). Types and specific examples of civic participation outcomes will be presented (e.g., creation of 1,100 new civic leadership roles), along with factors that facilitate or inhibit creation of this type of community change. Differences by rural/urban nature of the community will also be highlighted.

Learning Objectives: At the end of the session, participants will be able to

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
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.

Mobilizing Communities in Research and Intervention

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA