Culture of Results Initiative

Background

Organizations should understand their program results in order to improve, grow, and demonstrate their contributions to the health, wellness, and quality of life in their communities. Strong planning processes and measurement systems enable leaders to show success and identify areas for improvement. This attracts funders and provides critical information to key stakeholders.

Many partners working on health and social determinants could benefit from support and capacity building in evaluation, strategic planning and improvement.  However, research and evaluation consultants often provide time-limited services, and after a project ends, the agency continues to struggle with these processes. Further, program and community assessment efforts too often fail to include the input of community members receiving services, historically marginalized groups, and those impacted by challenges who could bring innovative solutions that draw upon their lived experiences.

Description

Through the Culture of Results Initiative, the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness (NCCHW) works with local, regional, and state partners to assess community conditions, plan strategies, strengthen coordination, evaluate impact and improve programs and systems statewide. Culture of Results (COR) provides evidence-based training and technical support to statewide and regional initiatives, as well as local public health departments, hospitals, universities, and community groups. COR applies key aspects of empowerment evaluation— providing evaluation as part of an ongoing planning process to support client self-determination and organizational capacity building. COR customers develop the skills to co-design assessments in their communities and of their services. Our partners can adapt, improve, expand, and communicate the impact of their work and their contribution to the community.

Culture of Results team members engage partner organizations in learning and using Results-Based Accountability (RBA) and its data-driven process to identify community results, prioritize and collect data, and plan, evaluate and improve their strategies. RBA is a framework for disciplined, methodical, and inclusive planning. 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 evidence-based model for planning, evaluation and improvement processes.

Approach

  • 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.
  • Culture of Results also integrates Technology of Participation methods for focused discussion, action planning, and consensus building.
  • The COR team brings racial equity and social justice lenses and experience in clinical health care and social work.
  • Culture of Results provides training and facilitation in RBA processes that can easily be used again and again to strengthen the 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 training with technical support to build upon existing team assets and work within resource constraints.
  • Technical support and coaching helps clients co-create evaluations to meet specific grant, government, or internal reporting requirements.
  • RBA helps participants establish common ground and common language among diverse groups, making planning more inclusive and equitable.
  • RBA enables coalitions to focus on aligned action and quality data for transparency and accountability, advancing collective impact approaches.
  • As part of the North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness, COR works in partnership with networks across the state and through our Healthy Aging Initiative to promote fair opportunities for all communities.
  • Culture of Results leverages the strength of the University of North Carolina Asheville’s community engagement efforts and academic programs, including faculty and student research and support for specific projects.

Impact

The NCCHW Culture of Results initiative has helped programs to measure and expand impact and grow funding, community-wide initiatives to assess and plan strategically, 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 2017-2020, Culture of Results has trained over 1,850 individuals from 815 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 wellness 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.

Testimonials

 “We can rethink the system. We can question our assumptions and inquire what is really important… The events in our community and across the country and the world make it important to remember that metrics and charts are irrelevant if they’re not in service to the right questions… Emma Olson [COR Director] reminded us last week that questions are the heart of the Results-based Accountability framework. Questions keep us focused on outcomes, which is important, but questions serve another purpose as well. They help us disrupt the inevitable pull toward the normal that will destroy not just our particular project or program, but everything we’re working toward as a city.”

– Eric Jackson, Manager, Office of Data & Performance – City of Asheville. Read the full quote.

NCCHW is leading an RBA training series for the City of Asheville Employees from 2020-2021.

“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, Program Manager of Mothering Asheville, MAHEC Ob/GYN

NCCHW provided training and technical assistance using RBA to the Mothering Asheville movement from 2016-2020 and serves on the Steering Committee.

More Information

To see a list of the services offered by the COR team, please review our COR Menu of Services.

To see how COR services are supporting counties across the state, click here!

To learn more about RBA, check out this one-page RBA Fact Sheet.

Contact

Emma C. Olson, MSW, MPH
Director of Partnerships and Evaluation
NC Center for Health and Wellness, UNC Asheville
eolson1@unca.edu ~ (828) 258-7715
http://ncchw.unca.edu/what-we-do/culture-of-results-initiative/ ~ https://ncchw.unca.edu