EVALUATING OUTCOMES OF COMMUNITY FOOD ACTIONS:
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Who will benefit From this guide?
First off – this is not a general evaluation primer. We are assuming that the user has a basic familiarity with the rationale and methods of evaluation. If not, there are excellent resources out there and we provide links to some of these. Rather, the purpose of this Guide is to provide people involved in Community Food Actions (CFAs) with practical tools, resources, and strategies to evaluate outcomes.
More specifically this Guide is focused on Community Food Actions that are aiming to reduce barriers to food access (either through policy and systems change work and/or through addressing the needs of individuals). As such, it will have relevance to those who want to evaluate the extent to which their CFA is increasing the affordability, availability, access to, and consumption of nutritious food in their communities.
How to use it
Contents of the guide: The four major steps in an evaluation
This Guide covers Four Major Steps in Evaluation, as illustrated in the figure below.
-The Step 1 chapter will help you to answer the question “What Is Your Community Food Action Trying to Achieve?”. Here, we describe the variety of food actions that exist and the sorts of outcomes that are to be expected.
-The Step 2 chapter focuses on Gaining Participation and Asking Evaluation Questions.
-The Step 3 chapter is all about effective strategies for putting your evaluation into action, helping answer your evaluation questions including the most important one: “Did your CFA make a difference?”.
-The Step 4 chapter focuses on the Analysis, Communication, and Use – communicating your findings to community members and participants, reporting to funders, acting on results, and improving your work.
Development and Field Test Process
This Guide was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada as part of the Food Security Knowledge Initiative. The Guide was produced through a collaboration led by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Chronic Disease Interventions Division.