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Annu Rev Public Health. 2006;27:323-40.

Process evaluation for community participation.

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Center for Pediatric Research, Norfolk, Virginia 23510, USA.


This review provides a synthesis of published public health and social science literature to determine how process evaluation has been used to examine community participation and its intermediary role in health and social change outcomes. Community participation is defined, and its relationship to other community-development principles and evaluation and research methods is described. Then, case studies and research initiatives help answer questions such as who participates and why? What are the benefits and challenges of community participation? What qualitative and quantitative methods are used in process evaluations to measure community participation? What measures are used to help define the influence of community participation in community-based interventions? A better understanding of these issues is needed to ensure that community participation is valued and used effectively to plan and implement health-promotion initiatives and evaluate their processes and outcomes.

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