Sustainability of the Pacific Diabetes Today Coalitions
Published Date:Sep 15 2009
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 6(4).
The prevalence of diabetes is unusually high among the indigenous peoples of Hawaii and the US-associated Pacific Islands. Although diabetes programs developed elsewhere have been tried in these Pacific Islander communities, they have not been sustained. Research suggests that program sustainability is enhanced by the presence of a champion, the fit of the program in an organization, and assistance from stakeholders.
In 1998, the Pacific Diabetes Today Resource Center, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, applied a community-empowerment approach to diabetes programming, providing training and technical assistance to coalitions in 11 US-associated Pacific Islands communities. When funding ended in 2004, many of the diabetes programs continued. In 2008, we revisited the 11 communities to examine the vitality of their diabetes coalitions and factors that were known to sustain the programs.
We interviewed coalition representatives in each of the 11 communities about diabetes-related programming developed from 1999 through 2003 and factors influencing sustainability of diabetes-related activities.
Coalitions that continued the diabetes programming they developed for or adapted to their communities had community leaders (or champions), found supportive organizational homes for the programs, and had assistance. Four case studies show how these factors affected successful coalitions.
Freedom to adapt programs to new cultural contexts was a key factor in sustaining diabetes programs in the region.
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