2012 Coalition Assessment Report Summary: An Overview of the Annual Coalition Summary
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Coalition Assessment Tool Report Overview
Colin Powell (n.d.) is cited as stating, "Bad news isn't wine. It doesn't improve with age." This is a very true statement. No matter how old you get, it never seems that negative feedback never seems to get easier to stomach. While this may be true, it is also true when we learn our strengths and our weaknesses, we can get better and that should be good news for all of us. The 2012 coalition assessment survey that was collected for the Pasco Discovery Coalition (PDC) and other coalitions statewide seems to show a negative outlook for the organization, but it can also be viewed as a wakeup call to what needs to be improved. Generally and rudimental the results of the 2012 Annual Coalition Survey are reported.
The Pasco Discovery Coalition is a group of community leaders who gather from different sectors with the vision of "working to promote stronger youth and safer neighborhoods by combating gangs / violence, alcohol and other drugs, and teen pregnancy" in Pasco Washington. They are funded through the Department of Social and Human Services Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) in Washington State through their Prevention Redesign Initiative (PRI).
The Prevention Redesign Initiative requires all coalitions to under their supervision and funding to complete a pretest posttest survey to assess various characteristics of what makes up a productive and successful. This data is compared to the previous years survey (if there is one, as is the case for the PDC) along with being compared to other coalitions in the state. The survey referenced in this report is the PDC's second set of surveys and acts as the pretest for the coalition and is compared to the pretest survey results from 2011.
The survey requests the coalition participates feelings regarding various components of being a coalition through a likert scale of one to five along with a possible answer of Don't Know or Not Applicable. The scale is listed using the following vocabulary: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neither Agree or Disagree, Agree, and Strongly Agree. The questions address the following areas related to the coalition characteristics:
- Vision, mission, and goals
- Coalition structure and membership
- Coalition leadership – Our coalition coordinator / director
- Outreach and communication
- Coalition meetings and communications
- Opportunities for member growth and responsibility
- Effectiveness in planning and implementation
- Relationships with local government and other community members
- Relationship with other organizations
- Coalitions members' sense of ownership and participation
- Ability to collect, analyze, and use data
- Understanding of and commitment to environmental change strategies
- Cultural competence
- Funding and sustainability
- Background information
A copy of the Coalition Assessment Tool can be found as Appendices A. The survey was completed via a web-based form, where a request was sent to coalition participants listed as active with DBHR. The participants were emailed by the coalition chairperson, Jacob Campbell, with an individualized password to be permitted to access their survey on a specified website. They were also given a PDF version of the survey that they could complete if desired and turn into the PRI Coordinator, Teresa Bell, although none of the participants choose to complete the survey in this fashion.
During the 2011 survey, the PDC turned in nine surveys out of 190 surveys turned in by 16 statewide coalitions. During this, most recent survey, the PDC turned in 10 surveys out of 233 surveys from 22 state coalitions. The members chosen for the survey were based on coalition members listed as active on the DBHR website which tracks coalition attendance and participation. The survey request was sent to 16 different coalition members and then a follow email was sent again to make a second request for completion of the survey.
Overview of the Results
The Coalition Assessment Tool Report created by DBHR Performance Based Prevention System can be found as Appendices B and delineates the results both historical and comparative. The comparative results show results from the state high and low compared to the PDC. The numbers are calculated using the an average taken to the second decimal place of the coalition participants answers related to the likert scale (i.e. the closer to 5 the more the members agreed and the closer to 1 the less they agreed).
Regarding the 2011 report, the state scored the three lowest scores with the follow categories coalition structure and membership, outreach and communication, and effectiveness in planning and implementation with scores of 3.13, 3.13, and 3.43 respectively. The states three highest scores included partnerships with other organizations, cultural competence, and ability to collect, analyze, and use data with scores of 5.00, 4.91, and 4.75 respectively.
The PDC's 2011 results showed the three lowest scores as funding and sustainability, opportunities for member growth and responsibility, and relationships with local government and other community leaders with scores respectively being 3.63, 3.79, and 3.97. Their three highest scores were in the categories of cultural competence, vision, mission and goals, partnerships with other organizations with the following scores respectively 4.50, 4.39, and 4.30.
The state in 2012 continued to have outreach and communication, and coalition structure and members as two of the three lowest scores, but with lower numbers respectively 2.77 and 2.91. Furthermore funding and sustainability were responses were lower with an average score of 2.88. The three highest scores was actually a tie with between four categories: outreach and communication, relationship with local government and other community leaders, partnerships with other organizations, ability to collect, analyze, and use data, and understanding of and commitment to environmental change strategies with top scores of 5.00.
For the PDC the three lowest scores on the 2012 survey were outreach and communication, funding and sustainability, coalition structure and membership with respective scores of 2.85, 2.88, and 2.91. The highest scores were cultural competence, coalition meetings and communications, and partnerships with other organizations with respective scores of 3.91, 3.68, and 3.56.
General Discussion Regarding Results
There are some limitations to the data collected in this survey. The number of survey responses is generally a small number, both statewide and locally, to be considered highly generalizable and correlative. The data provided only shows averages of the various coalitions surveyed. The very limited amount of local participants for the PDC (n=10) permits the data to be skewed 10% overall for each participations responses.
The limitation of the study aside, the data is positive for getting an overview of some of the feelings of coalition participants and to be evaluated to look forward as to what are some of the ways that the PDC can improve their practices and form a more successful coalition affecting the change desired.
Looking generally over the data, it is apparent that the participants of this study scored the PDC categorically lower then they did during the previous 2011 survey. None of the general coalition characteristics showed an improvement in the views of the coalition participants. There were only a couple of quests that showed improvement in results from the previous years responses. The PDC also showed up at the lowest end of six of the coalition general characteristics and was within less then .1 of two other responses landing us at the same rate as the state low (it is not clear whether other coalitions had the same low number, but we were at least equal to or lower then all of the coalition in those areas). It is also clear that in the dataset given for the 2012 survey, the spread of high to low is much wider then the previous 2011 survey (i.e. scores with a higher standard deviation). Furthermore, the data only showcases the PDC and the lowest and the highest coalition scores. It does not give an accurate picture of where all of the other coalitions are or any type of median scores state wide, only the extremes.
The benefit of this data is that it gives the PDC a number of areas to focus on and improve to increase our overall effectiveness. Of the three areas receiving the lowest scores the lowest is funding and sustainability. The two most concerning topics within this general topic for coalition members appeared to be having multiple funding sources for the coalition and writing grants. Both of which are areas for capacity building within the PDC.
Another area of capacity building that the coalition needs to improve upon is the outreach and communication. This includes areas such as including the community in general involved in the business of the coalition, working with media (i.e. getting the coalition name out there), and engaging with you.
The third lowest scoring area of the 2012 survey responses rate also seems to showcase the need for capacity building. This respondents described not having all of the necessary sectors being represented, having the right number of members, and having well defined roles.
As a coalition, this information should be evaluated and a discussion about a couple of areas of focus should be decided as to how to improve some of the general characteristics of the PDC.