Public health advocacy is by necessity responsive to shifting sociopolitical climates. This presents a challenge for advocacy research as the intervention must by definition be adaptive. Moving beyond the classification of advocacy efforts to measurable indicators and outcomes of policy then requires a dynamic research approach.
[Photo: Ms. Maia Ingram]
Ms. Maia Ingram and colleagues from the Prevention Research Center at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health explore a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach in the development of methods to measure a community health worker (CHW) community advocacy intervention. Their article is published in the journal Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education and Action.
The team describes use of the CBPR approach in the development and measurement of a community health worker (CHW) intervention which is designed to engage community members in public health advocacy and provide a model for application of this approach in advocacy interventions addressing community-level systems and environmental change.
The Kingdon three streams model of policy change provided a theoretical framework for the intervention. Research and community partners collaboratively identified and documented intervention data. The team describes five research methods used to monitor and measure CHW advocacy activities that both emerged from and influenced intervention activities.
Encounter forms provided a longitudinal perspective of how CHWs engaged in advocacy activities in the three streams. Strategy maps defined desired advocacy outcomes and health benefits. Technical assistance notes identified and documented intermediate outcomes. Focus group and interview data reflected CHW efforts to engage community members in advocacy and the development of community leaders.
The Prevention Research Center team provides a model for application of key principles of CPBR that are vital to effectively capturing the overarching and nuanced aspects of public health advocacy work in dynamic political and organizational environments.