Evaluating community-driven initiatives focused on policy, systems, and environmental change: Lessons learned from building model communities in suburban cook county, Illinois
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
: 1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.
Evaluation of prevention strategies is an essential component of public health research especially in the face of new weight being placed on strategies that deliver specific, measurable health outcomes to address chronic disease. Evaluation can help to refine program delivery, gauge effectiveness, and provide evidence for continuing support. However, few resources exist to guide evaluation of community-driven policy, systems and environmental (PSE) change initiatives. In alignment with The National Prevention Strategy, the Model Communities (MC) program implemented in suburban Cook County, Illinois aimed to transform communities and schools to facilitate healthy living. As part of Communities Putting Prevention to Work, MC grants were awarded to 38 local governments, school districts, and community-based institutions to advance PSE changes to promote healthy eating and active living. The MC program supported grantees in building alliances and organizational capacity using a multi-pronged training and technical assistance strategy. Two-hundred PSE changes occurred in 127 schools and 73 communities across the region reaching nearly 1.6 million people. Evaluation of the MC program was based on a theory of change, and used mixed methods including surveys, interviews, and document review. While there were positive aspects of how the evaluation was structured, integrated, and conducted, challenges related to the complexity of the intervention, methodology, and organization, made it difficult to identify associations between PSE achievement and elements of the program. This presentation will highlight successes and limitations to the MC evaluation design and execution, and share recommendations for evaluating future community-driven health promotion initiatives focused on PSE change.
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Describe a program model focused on policy, systems, and environmental changes promoting healthy eating and active living and aligned with the Building Healthier Communities pillar of the National Prevention Strategy.
Name successes and challenges associated with the program’s evaluation design and implementation.
List lessons and recommendations for evaluating complex community-driven, policy, systems, and environmental change initiatives.
Keyword(s): Evaluation, Community-Based Health Promotion
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an evaluator of the Model Communities Grant Program for over 2 years, leading the local evaluation team. Among my research interests is the use of qualitative evaluation methods used in community-based health promotion programs.
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.