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AIDS Educ Prev. 2006 Aug;18(4 Suppl A):32-43.

Assessing community needs and agency capacity--an integral part of implementing effective evidence-based interventions.

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  • 1California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center, Disease Prevention Section, California STD Control Branch, 300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 520, Oakland, 94612, USA.


Community-based organizations and public health departments have historically applied for and received funding to implement a variety of HIV prevention interventions, but it is unclear how they make decisions regarding which interventions to implement or whether their agency has sufficient capacity and/or resources to effectively carry them out. Assessment activities can play a valuable role in helping agencies make these decisions by providing information to better target services. Recent funding efforts supporting the Diffusion of Effective Behavioral Interventions Project and other evidence-based approaches for HIV prevention require that agencies possess basic skills to effectively conduct individual-, group-, or community-level interventions, as well as the specific activities associated with an evidence-based intervention (EBI). We examine the link among community assessment, agency capacity, and intervention effectiveness, and provide resources to better guide programs in assessing their communities and organizations in order to implement the most effective EBI.

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