261564 Community Capacity Building: A Key Element of Sustainability

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Dawn M. Richardson, DrPH, MPH , School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Amy J. Schulz, PhD , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Angela G. Reyes, MPH , Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, Detroit, MI
Barbara A. Israel, DrPH , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Alisha Opperman, MSW , Warren/Conner Development Coalition, Detroit, MI
Background: The Healthy Environments Partnership (HEP) is a community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership comprised of community-based organizations and public health practice and academic partners working to develop, implement and evaluate interventions to reduce cardiovascular disparities in Detroit, Michigan. HEP is implementing a multilevel intervention to increase physical activity via walking groups, capacity building, community action and policy change. A major focus of this work is to sustain community members' access to the resources made available through the intervention. Methods/Approach: One challenge of community intervention research is the sustainability of resources (e.g. program services) beyond initial funding. HEP has developed a sustainability approach emphasizing community capacity across intervention levels (e.g., individual, organizational), recognizing that such capacity is required for sustainability. We assessed capacity in the context of this intervention, applying an established community capacity framework (developed and adapted by Robert Goodman and colleagues and Nicholas Freudenberg). Findings: We consider dimensions of community capacity (e.g., leadership, participation) across intervention levels, providing examples of capacity built across 10 dimensions specified by the framework (e.g., training community members to implement walking groups). We discuss additional areas of capacity-building opportunity (e.g., providing training in grant writing for organizations hoping to host walking groups). Additionally, we discuss the contributions of a CBPR approach, which explicitly values the autonomy, capacity, and skills inherent in the community and actively engages community members at each stage of the process. We discuss the implications of our findings for enhancing community capacity as a critical component of sustainability.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants in this session will be able to describe the role of CBPR in building community capacity as a key component of planning, implementing, and evaluating community interventions to support dissemination and sustainability efforts. 2. Participants will be able to describe the role of conceptualizing and planning for sustainability in their initial framing and implementation of community interventions, as well as the concrete steps taken towards sustainability.

Keywords: Community Capacity, Community-Based Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My postdoctoral training has focused on the scholarship and conduct of CBPR. I have been working closely with a CBPR partnership around the role of capacity building, intervention dissemination, and the sustainability of intervention resources.
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.