• Evaluating practice within a community health promotion intervention: What is the evidence for successful techniques, empowerment and community-centred approaches?

      Jawadwala, Rehana; Fynn, Judith (University of Chester, 2016-10-31)
      Background and Aims: Community-centred interventions are an important health promotion strategy to tackle current public health concerns. Community and empowerment approaches are complex to conceptualise, operationalise and evaluate. The present study evaluated a short (five week), community-based healthy eating intervention delivered to parents and guardians of children aged one to four years to explore evidence of techniques and processes implemented within the intervention. Methods: The study combined interviews with facilitators and observations of intervention delivery with analysis of organisational documentation and existing evaluation data. Iterative data collection and analysis, and triangulation, allowed a detailed description and critical process evaluation. Results: There was fidelity across the intervention design, delivery and evaluationprocesses, in content (developing awareness, knowledge and skills related to nutritional messages) and techniques (encouraging participation, dialogical approaches, providing opportunities and tailoring). There was evidence of constructs associated with individual empowerment, and building capacity, relationships and social networks. Evidence of constructs associated with community empowerment and mobilisation was limited. Existing service evaluation is influenced by organisational and translational factors and limits the ability to determine and document programme strengths. Conclusion: Intervention fidelity, inclusion of content and techniques to build capacity, confidence and relationships represent programme strengths. There are missed 6 opportunities to recognise and report programme strengths, and to evaluate wider intervention effects. Adoption of a systematic, but flexible, approach to service evaluation, that provides prompts to facilitate operationalisation of community constructs and capture reflective practice, could add value to service providers and programme development.