207087 Sustainable Community System Change Framework: A Tool for Planning and Evaluation

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jara Dean-Coffey, MPH , jdcPartnerships, San Rafael, CA
Amy Reisch, MSW , First 5 Marin Children and Families Commission, San Rafael, CA
Jill Casey , jdcPartnerships, San Rafael, CA
Founded in 1998, First 5 Marin Children and Families Commission (F5M) works to assure that all children 0 – 5 years of age in Marin County, California thrive in supportive, nurturing and loving families, are healthy and enter school ready to learn. To this end, F5M works to coordinate and leverage the efforts of the spectrum of agencies, programs and individuals whose work contributes to these outcomes. From the start, it was clear that achieving and sustaining these outcomes required that the system(s) serving this population become more coordinated, collaborative and adaptive. An intensive literature review revealed an existing framework for evaluating system-level change that would inform the continued evolution of this approach. Primary research, involving community partner organizations that comprise the system, was conducted to adapt this framework to the task of defining and evaluating progress towards a model of sustainable community system change in Marin. The modified framework was tested for validity and usefulness in supporting F5M's strategic planning process, particularly for setting community-level goals and objectives, and in evaluating outcomes. In this application, it provided a structure for setting goals for this multi-organizational system, identifying key “levers” for strengthening the system and its effectiveness, and evaluating progress towards achieving sustainable system change. Most importantly, the modified framework helped us identify the key points at which interventions can have the most impact in strengthening the system and increasing its effectiveness. Having adapted the framework for this purpose, F5M will continue to evaluate and evolve it over time.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the use of a systems change framework as both an outcome and a strategy for affecting health outcomes. 2. Identify key levers within a system which, when influenced, can produce change. 3. Understand the stages of change within a system that is evolving towards greater adaptability

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Community Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Founder and Principal of jdcPartnerships with more than 15 years experience in designing and implementing processes and tools that integrate strategic thinking with evaluative inquiry to support organizations in building their strategic capacity. Developed a highly successful approach to facilitating organizations’ use of evaluative inquiry—supported by theory of change, theory of action and logic model tools—provides a foundation to inform organizational decision-making, develop a learning culture, and implement and sustain system-level change. MPH in Community Health Education, UC Berkeley; BS Communications and Political Science, Temple University and Certificate in Organizational Learning and Evaluation, Fielding University.
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.