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Eval Program Plann. 2011 Aug;34(3):246-53. doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2011.03.004. Epub 2011 Mar 15.

The role of community context in planning and implementing community-based health promotion projects.

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Emory Prevention Research Center, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


The current study examines how community context affected collaborative planning and implementation in eight sites participating in a healthy cities and communities initiative in California. Data are from 23 focus groups conducted with coalition members, and 76 semi-structured interviews with local coordinators and community leaders. Multiple case study methods were used to identify major themes related to how five contextual domains influenced collaborative planning and implementation. Results showed that history of collaboration can influence resources and interpersonal and organizational connections available for planning and implementation, as well as priorities selected for action. Community politics and history can affect which segments of the community participate in a planning process and what issues are prioritized, as well as the pool of partners willing to aid in implementation. Some community norms and values bring people together and others appear to limit involvement from certain groups. Community demographics and economic conditions may shape outreach strategies for planning and implementation, and may also shape priorities. Geography can play a role in assessment methods, priority selection, partners available to aid in implementation, and participation in activities and events. Results suggest that community context plays a substantive role in shaping how community-based health promotion projects unfold.

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