Community Capacity

The Dan River Partnership for a Healthy Community (DRPHC) is a community-based participatory research coalition developed to address regional obesity problems. A coalition is an organization of various community sectors utilizing collective partnerships to address targeted problems. Coalitions can function to enhance a community’s ability to identify problems, mobilize efforts and may help reduce disparities by leveraging resources, including social and human capital. Specifically when dealing with complex health issues, a community based participatory research framework (CBPR) is one approach to build coalitions. Effective CBPR initiatives integrate the knowledge gained through community-academic partnerships to further coalition efforts and execute culturally-effective interventions aimed at improving the health of communities. Given the number of factors and resources required to develop an effective coalition, evaluating the development and community capacity of the DRPHC can reveal the extent to which the coalition is progressing, effectively implementing programs, and ultimately producing desirable and sustainable outcomes when addressing obesity in the Dan River Region. Therefore, an evaluation was developed to understand the three main stages of DRPHC coalition development (formation, implementation, and sustainability) and community capacity characteristics. The aim of this white paper is to briefly review the background of the DRPHC, methods used to conduct the evaluation, results of the evaluation, strategies and solutions the DRPHC has used to address this information, and future recommendations.

Community Capacity Presentation [PDF]
Community Capacity Whitepaper [PDF]

Published Peer Reviewed Publication

Motley M, Holmes A, Hill J, Plumb K, Zoellner J. Dan River Partnership for a Healthy Community: A qualitative approach to evaluate the dimensions of community capacity to reduce obesity. American Journal of Health Behavior, 37(2):207-216, 2013.