Online Program

Food Council Self Assessment: Instrument development, pilot test results, and a conceptual model explaining the functioning of food councils

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Larissa Calancie, PhD, Center for Health Equity Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Nicole Allen, PhD, Psychology Department, Clinical/Community Division, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Alice Ammerman, DrPH, Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Introduction:  Food Policy Councils (FPCs) are organizations that bring together diverse members of the community to inform food policy and systems change.  Over 270 FPCs operate within the US and Canada, yet there is little empirical evidence about what organizational factors are associated with perceptions of council impact.  Councils would benefit from guidance on where to strengthen their efforts as an organization in order to fully realize their public health potential. 

Approach:  We developed and pilot tested a Food Council Self Assessment, informed by a quantitative study examining community collaboratives’ effectiveness to inform institutionalized change and by formative work with FPCs and expert input.  An online assessment was sent to 37 councils.  Psychometric properties of scales were assessed and an exploratory structural equation model was used to test a conceptual model explaining how food councils function.

Results:  66 council members from 16 councils in the US and Canada were included in the pilot survey analysis. Cronbach’s alpha ranged from 0.56 - 0.93 for the 10 scales included in the conceptual model.  An exploratory structural equation model indicated a very good fit between the hypothesized theory and the data (χ2=37.013, df=31, p=0.211, cfi=0.985, rmsea=0.054, srmr=0.057). 

Discussion:  This study produced a reliable Food Council Self Assessment that can help councils identify their strengths and opportunities for improvement.  Next steps include using a larger sample size to test a multilevel model of the associations between modifiable organizational factors and perceptions of council impact to inform strong organizational practices for FPCs.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
IDENTIFY organizational factors associated with perceptions of food policy council impact and EXPLAIN how those factors are related. This can help participants EVALUATE the organizational capacity of food policy councils.

Keyword(s): Food Security, Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral candidate in the Intervention and Policy Division of the Nutrition Department in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Food Policy Councils are the subject of my dissertation. I am also currently helping organize a council in my home county.
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.