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Community action success in public health: are we using a ruler to measure a sphere?
Can J Public Health. 2001 Mar-Apr;92(2):90-4
Publication Type
M A Boutilier
E. Rajkumar
B D Poland
S. Tobin
R F Badgley
Author Affiliation
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto.
Can J Public Health. 2001 Mar-Apr;92(2):90-4
Publication Type
Attitude of Health Personnel
Consumer Participation
Health Services Research - methods
Organizational Innovation
Organizational Objectives
Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care) - organization & administration
Program Evaluation - methods
Public Health Practice - standards
The Community Action and Public Health study explored how Ontario public health practitioners interpret and implement guidance in community action. In-depth interviews were conducted with 107 public health professionals and community members in 6 Ontario health units. This report briefly describes the study methods and presents results pertaining to the measurement of success based on interviews with 67 public health professionals. Data substantiate the view that evaluation methodologies employing quantitative measures of epidemiological outcomes inadequately capture "success" in community action, possibly attributable to an unproductive dichotomization of "process" and "outcome". Results suggest two kinds of "success": a) changes related to stated goals and targets; and b) more iterative and process-oriented changes, including necessary but often undocumented shifts in relationships, structures, social conditions and processes. In order to legitimize and validate results that might otherwise pass unrecognized, we suggest a methodology that records project "milestones" as successes in their own right.
Comment In: Can J Public Health. 2001 Mar-Apr;92(2):87-911338158
PubMed ID
11338160 View in PubMed
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