Case Study of Capacity Building for Smoke-Free Indoor Air in Two Rural Wisconsin Communities
Published Date:Sep 15 2007
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2007; 4(4).
Despite national declines in smoking prevalence, disparities that pose challenges to tobacco control efforts exist among rural manufacturing populations. This community case study sought to better understand the dynamics and nuances that facilitate or impede capacity-building efforts in rural communities.
Two rural manufacturing communities in Wisconsin with similar demographic characteristics were chosen for study. One represented farming communities with close proximity to a metropolitan area, and the other represented more isolated communities.
The qualitative case study used a collaborative approach to collect data in four areas of research: 1) community context, 2) coalition functioning, 3) partnerships, and 4) strategy implementation. Data were analyzed using standard content analysis and triangulated for clarity and consistency.
Although not all the factors found to influence capacity-building efforts were unique to rural environments, the effects were impacted by rural isolation, small population sizes, local attitudes and beliefs, and lack of diversity and resources. Differences in coalition leadership and strategy implementation influenced the effectiveness of the capacity-building efforts in each community, bringing attention to the unique nature of individual contexts.
Implementing capacity-building efforts in rural communities requires skilled and dedicated local leaders who have ready access to training and support (i.e., technical, emotional, and financial). Pairing of rural communities with greater use of distance technologies offers a cost-effective approach to reduce isolation and the constraints of financial and human resources.
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