Online Program

What do community coalitions need to be effective policy, systems, and environmental change agents?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Holly Pope, MPH, PhD, Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Sonya Jones, PhD, Center for Research in Nutrition and Health DIsparities, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Casey Childers, MA, Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Determinants of health include policies, systems, and environments (PSE) that are designed to influence health behaviors. Little is known about designing capacity building trainings for community coalition members engaged in PSE change processes. This presentation will describe the quantitative and qualitative results of a survey completed by 75 individuals from 39 community coalitions in South Carolina involved in PSE change for healthy eating, active living, and tobacco-free living. Community coalitions' capacity levels and desired areas to increase capacity will be discussed related to policy advocacy, media advocacy strategies, community organizing, evaluation, needs assessments, and leadership. Results highlighted areas identified by community coalitions of needed priority and challenges related to planning and/or implementing PSE changes. Briefly, we found that a majority of community coalitions reported capacity building needs in developing funds outside of grants (76.9%), collecting data to prove a need exists (57.7%), and in aspects of community organizing, including social media advocacy (68.6%), emailing campaigns (56.9%), and legislative visits (43.1%). Survey results were used to design capacity building institutes. PSE change requires different skills and approaches than traditional public health programming, and systematic capacity building efforts are needed to prepare the new public health workforce. This presentation is likely to provide insights into designing and implementing capacity building trainings and can serve as a model for other communities interested in engaging in PSE changes.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
List examples of PSE strategies to influence healthy eating, active living, and tobacco-free living. Compare community coalitions’ overall current levels of capacity to make PSE changes versus their desired level to make PSE changes. Explain how quantitative and qualitative results were used to inform the content of a two-day capacity building training for community coalitions. Describe techniques and resources used during the capacity building trainings that could be replicated in other communities interested in planning/ implementing PSE changes.

Keyword(s): Community Capacity, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a master's degree and doctoral degree in Public Health (Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior); extensive experience in survey development research and evaluation; I am also the evaluation coordinator for the project featured in the abstract.
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.