Health Promotion Journal of Australia Health Promotion Journal of Australia Society
Journal of the Australian Health Promotion Association

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Skills, systems and supports: an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service approach to building health promotion evaluation capacity of staff

Nina Nichols , Kathryn McFarlane , Priscilla Gibson , Fiona Millard , Andrew Packer , Malcolm McDonald

Abstract

Issue addressed: Building the health promotion evaluation capacity of a workforce requires more than a focus on individual skills and confidence. We must also consider the organisational systems and supports that enable staff to embed learnings into practice. This paper describes the processes used to build health promotion evaluation capacity of staff in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS). Methods: To build health promotion evaluation capacity three approaches were used: 1) workshops and mentoring; 2) strengthening systems to support program reporting; and 3) recruitment of staff with skills and experience. Pre and post questionnaires determined levels of individual skills and confidence, updated systems were assessed for adequacy to support new health promotion practices and surveys captured the usefulness of workshops and mentoring. Results: There was increased participant skills and confidence. Participants completed program impact evaluation reports and results were successfully presented at national conferences. The health promotion team was then able to update in-house systems to support new health promotion practices. Ongoing collaboration with experienced in-house researchers provided basic research training and professional mentoring. Conclusions: Building health promotion evaluation capacity of staff in an ACCHS can be achieved by providing individual skill development, strengthening organisational systems and utilising professional support. So what? Health promotion practitioners have an ongoing professional obligation to improve the quality of routine practice and embrace new initiatives. This report outlines a process of building evaluation capacity that promotes quality reporting of program impacts and outcomes, reflects on ways to enhance program strengths, and communicates these findings internally and to outside professional bodies. This is particularly significant for ACCHSs responsible for addressing the high burden of preventable disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

HE16048  Accepted 22 February 2017

© CSIRO 2017