Evaluating obesity prevention initiatives in the community: Accomplishments, lessons learned, and the impact of technical assistance and social media
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
: 11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Background: A growing body of research suggests that mini-grant initiatives to implement evidence based programs (EBPs) at the local level are most effective when combined with several factors, including providing ongoing technical assistance (TA), building local capacity and using local partnerships. Information about the elements of TA most useful to communities along with the impact of using social media in TA and partnership development is limited. Objective: To evaluate the implementation of 18 community obesity prevention initiatives and to assess the usefulness of different forms of TA, including social media. Methods: Eighteen New Jersey communities received mini-grant awards and a package of TA to implement policy and environmental EBPs related to obesity prevention. TA included site visits, monthly calls, in-person meetings and the use of three social media sites. Web-based grantee surveys, group telephone interviews with each community, document reviews and progress monitoring of project-related social media sites were triangulated to determine project outcomes, partnership strength, successes and project lessons learned. Results: All grantees participated in the survey and interviews and used the social media sites. Communities made progress in implementing their selected EBPs, though more time was needed to complete their initiatives. Communities identified the TA as a facilitator to their progress. Social media helped to link the communities with each other in a learning network and to highlight their successes. Conclusion: Communities can effectively implement EBPs with enough time, resources and TA. Social media offers a promising opportunity to deliver ongoing TA and encourage information sharing.
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Describe the process and results of evaluating 18 communities implementing evidence-based programs related to obesity prevention. Assess the usefulness and effectiveness of different types of technical assistance – including social media tools – provided to community grantees.
Keyword(s): Evaluation, Community-Based Public Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-coordinator and evaluation specialist for a statewide obesity prevention program that focuses on increasing opportunities for physical activity and access to healthy foods where people live, work and play. Among my interests are community-based evaluations that use mixed methods.
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.