185278 Measuring the impact of a community-based data capacity building effort in California: Results from the Data & Democracy Statewide Training Initiative

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:30 PM

Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH , School of Public Health, Community Alliance for Research and Engagement, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Peggy Toy, MA , Health DATA Program, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Los Angeles, CA
Helen Jung, MPH , Health DATA Program, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Los Angeles, CA
Roberta Wyn, PhD , Health DATA Program, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Los Angeles, CA
Steven P. Wallace, PhD , School of Public Health, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
The goal of Data & Democracy was to build the capacity of community-based organizations (CBOs) to obtain, understand and apply health data to local planning and advocacy. To achieve this goal, three-day courses were taught throughout California to CBOs serving local underserved communities. The course focused on enhancing skills related to planning and conducting a community assessment. METHODS: A mixed method evaluation captured: 1) participants' level of readiness for data capacity building; 2) capacity to use course skills in their work; and 3) intentions to use course skills, materials, and resources in the future. Readiness was measured by multiple pre-course survey items capturing participants' perceptions of their level of need for new/enhanced community assessment skills, beliefs regarding the importance of these skills to their work, and expectations to increase their capacity in these areas. Capacity was measured as pre-post changes in self-rated self-efficacy in course skills. RESULTS: A total of 108 community-based participants completed the course. Pre-course results documented high levels of readiness, which was dependent on previous experience. Participants demonstrated increased self-efficacy in community assessment skills between pre- and post-course surveys, with greatest improvement among data-specific skills such as data collection and analytic methods. Post-course findings indicated a high level of intention to use course content and resources in their ongoing community health advocacy and program planning. Follow-up interviews confirmed many participants had made progress on the community assessment goals they set on the last day of the course, and that progress was influenced by pre-course readiness.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the importance of providing and evaluating training and technical assistance to build the data capacity of community-based organizations. 2. Discuss the importance of understanding and measuring community-based participantsí level of readiness to evaluate the longer-term impact of data capacity building efforts. 3. Apply findings and recommendations to implementing and evaluating similar community-based data capacity building efforts.

Keywords: Community Building, Community Health Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I direct the implementation and evaluation of the Data & Democracy initiative.
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.