Results from the Data & Democracy initiative to enhance community-based organization data and research capacity

Am J Public Health. 2012 Jul;102(7):1384-91. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300457. Epub 2012 May 17.


Objectives: In an era of community-based participatory research and increased expectations for evidence-based practice, we evaluated an initiative designed to increase community-based organizations' data and research capacity through a 3-day train-the-trainer course on community health assessments.

Methods: We employed a mixed method pre-post course evaluation design. Various data sources collected from 171 participants captured individual and organizational characteristics and pre-post course self-efficacy on 19 core skills, as well as behavior change 1 year later among a subsample of participants.

Results: Before the course, participants reported limited previous experience with data and low self-efficacy in basic research skills. Immediately after the course, participants demonstrated statistically significant increases in data and research self-efficacy. The subsample reported application of community assessment skills to their work and increased use of data 1 year later.

Conclusions: Results suggest that an intensive, short-term training program can achieve large immediate gains in data and research self-efficacy in community-based organization staff. In addition, they demonstrate initial evidence of longer-term behavior change related to use of data and research skills to support their community work.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Capacity Building / methods
  • Capacity Building / organization & administration
  • Community-Based Participatory Research* / methods
  • Community-Based Participatory Research* / organization & administration
  • Educational Measurement
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles
  • Professional Competence
  • Self Efficacy
  • Teaching / methods
  • Teaching / organization & administration
  • Workforce