CP TIG Week: Julianne Manchester on Strengthening programming with organization readiness

Hello!  I am Julianne Manchester of the Community Psychology Topical Interest Group.   In this discussion of reducing health disparities and achieving health equity, I’d like to focus on organizational readiness and practice as a starting point for delivering effective programs, products, and services within the context of improving healthcare access, raising standards of cultural and linguistic competency of providers, or improving community-based evaluation approaches.  

Lesson Learned: It is not enough to have an organizational mission or strategic endeavor to reduce health disparities.  The climate of the organization itself can further the effort through prioritizing discussion of health disparities on meeting agendas, regularly revisiting the sector makeup of stakeholder groups involved in organizational planning (boards, committees, coalitions), and including youth in planning outreach efforts.

The roots of change begin in the local communities, with local conversations.  The Dayton, Ohio Local Office of Minority Health (LOMH), located at Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County (PHDMC), has adapted the National Stakeholder Strategies for Achieving Health Equity, National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (full narrative outlining five goals available online) into a checklist for completion at the organizational level. It was developed through key informant interviews with community leaders and piloted on-line in the spring of 2013.

The NPA strategies prioritize five domains of organizational activity:

  1. Public Awareness;
  2. Youth Involvement;
  3. Healthcare Access;
  4. Cultural and Linguistic Competency
  5. Data, Evaluation, and Research.

Rad Resource: The items on the Dayton LOMH-created questionnaire provide some operational definitions and metrics by which organizations can monitor their activities on the overarching goal statements.  The tool is described in the Fall, 2014 edition of The National Partnership for Action (NPA) Quarterly Newsletter.

Rad Resource: The PHDMC developed the NPA Checklist, available for organizations to assess their strengths in the five domains of organizational activity described above.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating CP TIG Week with our colleagues in the Community Psychology Topical Interest Group. The contributions all week come from CP TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

1 thought on “CP TIG Week: Julianne Manchester on Strengthening programming with organization readiness”

  1. Hi Julianne Manchester, my name is Aaron. I’m current a student at Texas A & M Central Texas. I appreciate your enthusiasm within your field. I’m currently journeying into a program evaluation course and I agree with you whole heartily that the root of change begins in the local community. I’m greatly looking forward to see what change I can help in creating. I’m actually from the Dayton area so that drew me a little more into your post here. As I was reading your NPA strategies and the five domains of priority I was wonder if they were placed in order of precedence? If it were me I think I would place Data, Evaluation, and Research closer to the top of the list. I have save the website that you posted and pulled up the news letters. I look forward to reading through them. I’m glad I was able find a fellow Ohioian who shares positive goals like reducing health disparities. Have a wonderful day.

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