Measuring progress of collaborative action in a community health effort

Vicki L. Collie-Akers, Stephen B. Fawcett, and Jerry A. Schultz
Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2013;34(6):422-8
Published online: 27 March 2015


Abstract / Resumen:

Objective. To measure the progress made by the collaborative actions of multisectorial partners in a community health effort using a systematic method to document and evaluate community/system changes over time. Methods. This was a community-based participatory research project engaging community partners of the Latino Health for All Coalition, which based on the Health for All model, addresses health inequity in a low-income neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas, United States of America. Guided by three research questions regarding the extent to which the Coalition catalyzed change, intensity of change, and how to visually display change, data were collected on community/system changes implemented by the community partners from 2009–2012. These changes were characterized and rated according to intensity (event duration, population reach, and strategy) and by other categories, such as social determinant of health mechanism and sector. Results. During the 4-year study period, the Coalition implemented 64 community/system changes. These changes were aligned with the Coalition’s primary goals of healthy nutrition, physical activity, and access to health screenings. Community/system efforts improved over time, becoming longer in duration and reaching more of the population. Conclusions. Although evidence of its predictive validity awaits further research, this method for documenting and characterizing community/system changes enables community partners to see progress made by their health initiatives.

Keywords / Palabras clave:Health promotion; equity in health; evaluation; community-based participatory research; United States

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