“The NC Center for Health and Wellness has helped the Mothering Asheville movement establish how to evaluate and work towards progress in community capacity building, clinical shift, and policy change. They trained community-based doulas to develop criteria for assessing how our patients are better off and built a Scorecard to measure our impact. They also led our entire collaborative to create a shared vision statement for eliminating the Black/White disparity in infant mortality in Buncombe County.”
– Maggie Adams, Project Manager of Mothering Asheville, MAHEC Ob/GYN
Organizations striving to support the health, wellness, and quality of life of their communities must understand their program results in order to improve and grow. Evaluation can help organizations reduce uncertainties, improve the effectiveness of strategies, and make decisions about resource allocation (University of Texas, 1998). Strong measurement and improvement systems enable programs to show success and identify areas for growth. This attracts clients as well as funders and provides critical information to key stakeholders.
However, our systems in North Carolina are stretched thin, and many health and social service providers and promoters need assistance with evaluation, implementation, and improvement. Often when consultants assist with evaluations, their support ends with project contracts, leaving an ongoing void. Further, evaluations and planning efforts too often fail to include the input of community members receiving or in need of services.
Through the Culture of Results Initiative, the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness (NCCHW) works with local, regional, and state partners to assess impact, strengthen coordination, and improve programs and systems statewide. Culture of Results (COR) provides evidence-based training and technical support to state-wide and regional initiatives, as well as local public health departments, hospitals, clinics, universities, and community providers and groups. COR applies key aspects of empowerment evaluation— providing evaluation as part of an ongoing planning process to support client self-determination and empowerment and organizational capacity building. Clients are participants who develop the skills and capacity to evaluate their own services to adapt, improve, expand, and communicate the impact of their work and their contribution to the health and wellbeing of the population.
Culture of Results team members engage partner organizations in learning and using Results-based Accountability (RBA) and its evidence-based, common sense tools to plan and evaluate their projects and services. RBA is a framework for moving from talk to action quickly and methodically. RBA has been recognized by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institute of Health (NIH), and departments and agencies across North Carolina as an effective practice for evaluation and planning.
- Culture of Results provides training in simple exercises that can easily be used again and again to strengthen capacity of programs to plan and evaluate their own work.
- Services are tailored to fit each client’s cultures, strengths, and needs. Packages can be modified to blend trainings with technical support to build upon existing team assets and work within resource constraints.
- Culture of Results applies Results-based Accountability (RBA), an evidence-based, action-oriented, and data-driven framework to improve population health and wellbeing and program performance.
- RBA helps participants establish common ground and common language among diverse groups, making planning more inclusive.
- RBA enables programs and organizations to focus on action, critical collaborations, and quality data for transparency and accountability, making it well suited to cross-sector collective impact work.
- Technical support helps clients co-create evaluations to meet specific grant, government, or internal reporting requirements.
- Culture of Results is an initiative of the North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness and brings a health equity lens to promote fair opportunities across the state.
- As part of UNC Asheville, Culture of Results leverages the strength of the University’s community engagement efforts and academic programs, including faculty and student research and expertise.
The NCCHW Culture of Results initiative has helped programs to measure and expand impact; community-wide initiatives with action planning and evaluation to sustain and grow funding; hospitals and health departments to strengthen their community health improvement efforts; and regional policy makers collaborate to share best practices for collective action across the state. From 2017-2019, Culture of Results trained over 1,600 individuals from nearly 640 agencies in evidence-based planning and evaluation methods.
The Culture of Results Initiative of the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness strives to impact policies, build capacity, and ignite community initiatives in order to support the health and productivity of North Carolinians across the state. Center staff support community-based programs that address critical health issues, promote replication of best practice approaches, and coordinate and support applied interdisciplinary faculty and undergraduate research. Through technical assistance, program development, evaluation, and leadership, the Culture of Results program bolsters health systems and service providing programs to help promote health equity statewide.
To see how COR services are supporting counties across the state, click here!
Emma C. Olson, LMSW, MPH
Director of Partnerships and Evaluation
NC Center for Health and Wellness, UNC Asheville
firstname.lastname@example.org ~ (828) 258-7715
https://ncchw.unca.edu/culture-results ~ https://ncchw.unca.edu