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A Construct for Building the Capacity of CommunityBased Initiatives in Racial and Ethnic Communities: A Qualitative CrossCase Analysis

Goodman, Robert M. PhD

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/01.PHH.0000346019.12641.1f
Article
Abstract

This article reports on a qualitative cross-case study that compares patterns of implementation across community-based public health initiatives resulting in a construct for building the capacity of such initiatives in racial and ethnic communities. By specifying which capacities provide optimum leverage, community initiatives may increase precision in developing intervention strategies that focus on those pivotal capacities that are necessary for producing desired outcomes. First, community capacity is defined and briefly contrasted with social capital. Then the research method is described from which the capacity construct is derived. The study reveals several capacities of community-based initiatives that are crucial in distinguishing highly successful initiatives from those that had greater difficulty in realizing their goals. Leadership was the most important capacity that distinguished highly and less successful initiatives. Organizing capacity, or the propensity to provide structure, operational procedures, oversight, and activity formation were also critical in leveraging community action and desired outcomes. The study concludes that developing high levels of community capacity where it can produce the most strategic advantage is a promising pathway for mitigating antagonistic social factors.

In Brief

This article reports on a qualitative cross-case study that compares patterns of implementation across community-based public health initiatives resulting in a construct for building the capacity of such initiatives in racial and ethnic communities.

Author Information

Robert M. Goodman, PhD, is Dean, School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Bloomington, Indiana.

Corresponding Author: Robert M. Goodman, PhD, School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, 1025 E Seventh St, HPER 111, Bloomington, IN 47405 (rmg@indiana.edu).

This work was supported by a grant CCU615784 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in conjunction with the Tulane University Prevention Research Center Special Interest Project 23 PR-99 Development of Practical Measures of Protective Social Factors and Social Capital in Racial and Ethnic Communities.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.