184319 Handbook for Assessing Social Change in Health: A resource for community members and public health professionals

Monday, October 27, 2008: 8:50 AM

Jeremiah Mock, MSc, PhD , School of Nursing, Department of Community Health Systems, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
This handbook provides social change project members with an integrated set of practical tools to help them assess whether their project activities have produced changes in communities, in systems, and among change agents. The Handbook also provides a framework for determining if changes at these levels have contributed to health improvements. A project can form an assessment working group (AWG) made up of community members, professionals, and project affiliates. AWGs can use the Handbook and companion workbook to collect and analyze data systematically. The Handbook provides an AWG with step-by-step instructions and builds a sample case study throughout 10 modules: 1) defining and describing communities; 2) defining and describing systems; 3) defining and describing change agents; 4) defining and describing change; 5) collecting and analyzing information to build an assessment; 6) cause-and-effect relationships and comparing information from multiple sources; 7) reviewing reports and records; 8) observing to see change; 9) interviewing to hear about change; 10) putting things together; and 10) telling your story and reporting. AWGs complete worksheets for each module to record their questions, ideas, data, and analysis. Simultaneously, AWGs use a template to construct a timeline tracking program activities, changes at multiple levels, and changes in health. AWGs then follow guidance on how to apply specific tests of causality to determine whether their project activities caused changes in communities, systems, and/or change agents, and to determine whether those changes contributed to improvements in community health. Finally, the Handbook provides examples of how to learn from an assessment.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss how to use a community-based participatory approach for assessing whether a project has produced social change and improvements in community health. 2. Identify concepts and practical methods that can be used for conducting assessments. 3. Formulate ideas about how to use the handbook and workbook to assess the impact of one’s own social change work.

Keywords: Evaluation, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD in medical anthropology, teach courses in evaluation, published peer-reviewed articles on evaluation, author of the Handbook on Social Change in Health
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.