241688 Evaluation of an urban multi-component obesity prevention policy initiative: Lessons learned

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 2:30 PM

Melissa Tibbits, PhD , Health Promotion, Social & Behavioral Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Hongmei Wang, PhD , Health Services Research and Administration, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Magda G. Peck, ScD , College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Terry Huang, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Promotion, Social & Behavioral Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Mary Balluff, MS RD, LMNT , Douglas County Health Department, Omaha, NE
Policy initiatives increasingly are supported by research, encouraged by funding agencies, and implemented by communities. Information on appropriate methods for evaluating community-based policy initiatives is limited. This presentation discusses lessons learned during the process of developing and implementing the evaluation plan for Douglas County (NE) Putting Prevention to Work, a CDC-funded CPPW initiative focused on preventing obesity through nine coordinated, evidence-based policy change approaches. These approaches include: development of signage focused on sharing the road with cyclists; development of bike share programs at local college campuses; modifications to the city's Master Plan to accommodate active living; promotion of active transportation to and from primary schools; collaboration with (1) local businesses and organizations and (2) after school providers to encourage adoption of policies that promote physical activity and healthy eating; provision of technical assistance to store owners in underserved areas to help them incorporate and maintain healthy food selections; promotion of the use of locally grown foods within schools; and implementation of a social marketing campaign to promote active living and healthy eating. The evaluation team worked collaboratively with the leaders of each approach and leaders of the overall initiative to develop a comprehensive evaluation plan focused on measuring outcomes and impacts. This presentation will focus on the process of developing evaluation goals for each initiative, providing evaluation technical assistance, and information sharing within and across the initiative's many parts and partners. Strategies for addressing cross-cutting challenges such as complexity, community engagement, and heightened visibility and demand for accountability are highlighted.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe key elements of the process of developing an evaluation plan for multi-component, community-based policy initiatives. 2. Identify strategies for addressing evaluation challenges of multi-component, community-based policy initiatives.

Keywords: Evaluation, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensive evaluation training and experience and currently teach a graduate-level course on the evaluation of public health programs and policies.
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.