I attended a meeting recently where I learned about a new smoking cessation intervention in my own community that really piqued my interest. It was innovative, linking cessation with physical activity and social support. And uptake is growing. Had I not been at this meeting I probably wouldn’t ever have known about it. Lucky I guess. I’ve been lucky like this many times over the years…just at the right table at the right time. This kind of chance encounter is inspiring and it’s exciting but it’s not a very efficient way to learn about community level interventions.
About three years ago I started working with some partners in Nova Scotia to develop a mechanism to enable health promotion practitioners to share their work. Called the Health Promotion Promising Practice Project it did help to profile some very interesting interventions. But mostly it helped to identify very practical challenges and barriers faced by practitioners when it comes to evaluating their work and sharing both results and lessons learned through their intervention efforts. I came away from the project with a feeling that a centralized “1-800 call an evaluator” system was needed – some way to link practitioners with just-in-time evaluation expertise and guidance. Tools are great – but evaluation tools exist …it’s the guidance and mentoring that seems to be missing. The 1-800 idea may not be the right answer…but something is definitely needed.
I am also becoming more strongly convinced that any system or tool that remains a “nice to do” vs. a “need to do” and that has no accountability for use attached to it could become yet another resource that may or may not be found and utilized.
I believe that CAPTURE has the potential to respond to many of these challenges and barriers. To become a user-friendly system that raises the standard of practice when it comes to program planning and evaluation. I can envision myself using this system to guide my work. To help with links to evidence, tools to support needs assessments and evaluation frameworks and even prompting reflection as I work through implementation. The opportunity to document unanticipated learning in a formal way that gives it value is very exciting.
CAPTURE could become the “go to” connection to the wealth of health promotion innovation in our communities. I’m not one to put all my eggs in one basket – but having had the luck of being at the right table at the right time, I’m inspired and I’m excited by the potential of CAPTURE.
International Advisory Board member – The CAPTURE Project
Prevention coordinator – Cancer Care Nova Scotia