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Challenges in data collection, analysis, and distribution of information in community coalition demonstration projects.

PURPOSE: This article summarizes the experiences of 13 grantees funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the Community Coalition Partnership for the Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy in collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data as required under the requirements of this community-based demonstration project. While describing the challenges associated with these activities, this article suggests how future demonstration projects can better support both centralized and locally based data collection and analysis and enhance their usefulness for various audiences. METHODS: A multi-method data collection approach was employed that included: (a) a systematic review of semiannual progress reports submitted by the grantees to CDC between 1998 and 2002, (b) telephone interviews with program directors and evaluators and (c) site visits to four of the 13 grantee locations. In all, 46 individuals were interviewed, for an average of 3.5 respondents per grantee site. Data collected for this article focused on three data collection/analysis activities required as part of the Partnership: needs assessments conducted during the planning phase of the project, the collection of cross-site indicator data and project-specific studies. RESULTS: Grantees from the 13 Partnership communities indicated that two of the data collection/analysis requirements (the needs and assets assessments and project-specific studies) were useful and should be included in future demonstration projects. The collection of cross-site indicator data was found to be more challenging. Across all areas of data collection/analysis, the grantees' efforts were complicated by data collection challenges, difficulties conducting studies of local programs, and uncertainties about how local efforts fit with national goals for the demonstration projects. CONCLUSION: The data collection/analysis activities within the Partnership were viewed by the grantees as being both supportive of project efforts, but also challenging. On the positive side, the presence of community-based evaluators helped the grantees to profile community needs, identify program interventions, provide participant feedback, and track community mobilization efforts. Collection of the cross-site indicator data was difficult for many of the grantees and not always connected to locally determined objectives. The value of these activities can be enhanced in the future if greater attention is given to creating more clearly defined goals at the demonstration project level and to providing guidance on scientifically valid data collection and analysis techniques to maximize the usefulness of local efforts.[1]


  1. Challenges in data collection, analysis, and distribution of information in community coalition demonstration projects. Gallagher, K., Stanley, A., Shearer, D., Klerman, L.V. The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine. (2005) [Pubmed]
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