Participatory evaluation of a community-academic partnership to inform capacity-building and sustainability

Vani Nath Simmons, Lynne B Klasko, Khaliah Fleming, Alexis M Koskan, Nia T Jackson, Shalewa Noel-Thomas, John S Luque, Susan T Vadaparampil, Ji-Hyun Lee, Gwendolyn P Quinn, Lounell Britt, Rhondda Waddell, Cathy D Meade, Clement K Gwede
Evaluation and Program Planning 2015, 52: 19-26
The Tampa Bay Community Cancer Network (TBCCN) was formed as a partnership comprised of committed community based organizations (grassroots, service, health care organizations) and a National Cancer Institute designated cancer center working together to reduce cancer health disparities. Adhering to principles of community-based participatory research, TBCCN's primary aims are to develop and sustain outreach, training, and research programs that aim to reach medically underserved, multicultural and multilingual populations within the Tampa Bay tri-county area. Using a participatory evaluation approach, we recently evaluated the partnerships' priorities for cancer education and outreach; perspectives on the partnerships' adherence to CBPR principles; and suggestions for sustaining TBCCN and its efforts. The purpose of this paper is to describe implementation and outcomes of this participatory evaluation of a community/academic partnership, and to illustrate the application of evaluation findings for partnership capacity-building and sustainability. Our evaluation provides evidence for partners' perceived benefits and realized expectations of the partnership and illustrates the value of ongoing and continued partnership assessment to directly inform program activities and build community capacity and sustainability.

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