Assessing local capacity for health intervention

Moya L. Alfonso, Jen Nickelson, David L. Hogeboom, Jennifer French, Carol A. Bryant, Robert J. McDermott, Julie A. Baldwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Because of their location within the practice realm, participatory, community-based public health coalitions offer many lessons about implementing and sustaining local interventions. This paper presents a case study of capacity assessment at the local level. Capacity evaluation methods are presented, with emphasis on the theoretical framework used to guide the evaluation. The capacity evaluation framework presented herein was theoretically based and designed to generate practical information to facilitate the adoption of a locally tailored youth obesity prevention program, VERB™ Summer Scorecard (VSS). Using multiple methods, four aspects of community capacity were assessed, including community, knowledge and skills, resources, and power. Within each category, factors that facilitated or impeded program implementation were distinguished. The evaluation protocol was designed to generate information increasing community capacity to sustain a community-based obesity prevention program. Capacity tables were used as a program-planning tool and as a system for sharing implementation and sustainability requirements with potential adopters. This case study also explores how to use capacity assessment results to empower coalitions to serve as catalysts for development of local programs in other communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-159
Number of pages15
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Capacity
  • Coalitions
  • Community
  • Implementation
  • Interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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