Evaluation of Environment & Policy
Work with members of the community of interest to identify community needs and gain support from local government officials, policy-makers, community members, and other community decision-makers through participatory approaches or focus groups. Diabetes environment and policy initiatives might include an assessment of current diabetes-related policies or environments in order to examine what changes need to be made or what new policies or developments need to occur to meet the needs of the community. You can also assess health risks of diabetes and the benefits of diabetes-related prevention and management behaviors (e.g., glucose monitoring, taking medications, eating balanced nutritious meals, getting physical activity, quitting tobacco use). Others have also included an assessment of the existing access to resources (e.g., medical supplies, nutritious foods, aerobics classes) and places (e.g., pharmacies, supermarkets, community gardens, parks, playgrounds, gyms) to support diabetes prevention and management. To develop an effective policy or environment initiative, the specific historical, cultural, and political contexts as well as the economic impacts of diabetes-related changes are important to understand and evaluate.
Once changes have been made to environments or policies, you can evaluate the community awareness of the changes, perceptions of the changes, and enforcement of the changes in the environment or policy. Community- wide surveys could be used to measure these factors and to assess changes diabetes-related behavior patterns and health outcomes. Alternately, it is possible to track the use of facilities (e.g., walking trail counters) or changes in food purchasing patterns (sales data) when special tools are used or existing data is collected and summarized.
There are several challenges in evaluating diabetes environment and policy initiatives that should be considered:
Sharing Your Work
The following questions haven been provided to help guide the discussion you have with your partners about sharing your work with others: