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Connecting coalition members to the data

Hello Cohort 5 Coordinators!

During our meet-up at the Prevention Summit, we discussed that one of the barriers is assessment and planning. More specifically, how to connet coalition members to the data, understand the trends, and translate it to the community in a focused, asset-building way. 

My prompt to you, as we bring on a whole new set of Cohoty 6 communities, is how have you done this with your coalition? What worked? What didn't work? When you get your new data books this Spring, what is your plan for going through the data, and are you going to do anything different than you did last time? 

All ideas all welcome, from all cohorts! Thanks for sharing! 

aheikkila- Dec 31, 2018 09:51 AM Reply

This question is a bit challenging to answer as our coalition started late in the process as well as myself starting later as the coordinator.  Original assessment and planning done from the previous coordinator was done with a small focused group of those that had strong ties and connections with GH county public health.  Although this method did work, I felt that it did not include the majority of the coalition members and therefore limited their understanding of the data.  When translated with the community as a whole, we shared the major trends in our community which read more towards the need for substance abuse on a whole rather than just our opioid focus.  I felt this caused a challenge as we navigated through our strategic planning and posed the question from many members as to why we did not have a stronger focus on ATOD as well as suicide prevention rather than just opioids.  I felt that was diffficult for them to understand.

Not all coalition members are data driven...that I understand.  However, since it is the data that drives our work I feel it is very important to start engaging members in how to look through that lens.  I think it is great to have a working committee that really dives deep into the data but I also think it imperative to have the coalition as a whole focus on the data book.  When our new data comes out this spring, we plan to have time dedicated at each meeting to go through sections of the data.  We felt that by breaking it up it may be not quite as daunting for those members that have not had the experience in reading and understanding the data.  I think it would be helpful to have a "data expert" attend a coalition meeting when the data first comes out to help coalitions learn how to effectively navigate through the book.  Just having more time to go through the process will be positive for our coalition as we were unable to have that the first go around!