Capturing Change in a Community–University Partnership: The ¡Sí Se Puede! Project
Published Date:Mar 15 2005
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2005; 2(2).
Funding:U48/CCU509661/CC/ODCDC CDC HHS/United States
Community health interventions are increasingly employing partnerships combined with multilevel intervention models to achieve their objectives. Resources and methods for project evaluation are often limited to changes in population health status or health behaviors, while broader contextual questions that may illuminate mechanisms for change across ecological levels and project sustainability may not be addressed.
This paper describes a project to prevent and control diabetes in a Latino community and presents practical methods for addressing some challenges to evaluation, using data sources that often may be overlooked.
A case study method was used to examine approaches to capture data that can help explain changes across ecological levels. An ecological framework was used to organize sources of data. Data sources and findings are related to project timelines and goals.
Although not a direct focus of the original research, substantial changes in community capacity were observed and measured over the course of the five-year project. Documentation on community change was found in routine project reports, logs, the news media, meeting minutes, and community documents.
A logical progression of community change across ecological levels became evident. A modest post hoc evaluation was feasible, using data routinely available from project and target community sources. Specific questions for future research on how community change occurs and how such changes may relate to population health and sustainability are suggested.
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