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Weinland Park, an urban neighborhood adjacent to The Ohio State University, has been targeted for revitalization following several decades of disinvestment. The goal of these efforts is to develop holistic solutions that break the cycle of poverty. Such an undertaking requires collecting baseline data to understand community needs, inform programming, and guide revitalization efforts. This paper describes the development and implementation of the Weinland Park Evaluation Project (WPEP) – a collaborative and comprehensive neighborhood survey and needs assessment. Using the RE-AIM framework as a conceptual model, the paper describes how the WPEP was designed to meet short-, medium-, and long-term community needs. In addition, it offers lessons learned as a guide for researchers designing neighborhood surveys and conducting community assessments. An Appendix A includes indicators measured via the survey tool.
This paper has illustrated the development, implementation, and lessons learned from the Weinland Park Evaluation Project, an effort to collect comprehensive baseline data through a door-todoor neighborhood survey. The authors hope that the paper can serve as a resource to other communities that seek to gather data about their neighborhood through a comprehensive survey and needs assessment. Although the WPEP was not directly a public health intervention, we find that the RE-AIM model is well-suited for conceptualizing the Weinland Park community evaluation process (see Table 3). Given the project’s goals, we prioritized the Reach, Implementation, and Maintenance aspects of the model. Regarding Reach, survey had a high level of participation (26% of households) drawn from every third home in the neighborhood. We made up to three attempts to contact each participant, leaving a flyer with an address and a phone number to contact us. Participants were interviewed in multiple settings, choosing the time and location most convenient or comfortable for them. In terms of Efficacy, the WPEP considered both positive and negative outcomes. There was a wide range of positive outcomes, from increased collaboration to identification of new locations in which to engage residents. The WPEP addressed potential negative outcomes that participants might experience through the Resource Guide. The survey itself measured multiple types of outcomes, including behavioral, quality of life, and neighborhood satisfaction. Further, the WPEP conducted in-person interviews, which prior RE-AIM research have identified as having greater efficacy (Glasgow et al., 1999). Other aspects of the RE-AIM model show how it provides a useful framework for considering the proportion and representativeness of settings, adherence in implementation, and endurance of the evaluation findings and survey itself in a community evaluation such as WPEP. Adoption, or the proportion and representativeness of settings that adopt a program, points to the importance that the WPEP placed on conducting the initial focus groups with a variety of stakeholders and residents, interviewing participants at a broad spectrum of locales, and disseminating the findings in multiple venues and for different audiences. Further, the survey instrument and methods used in the WPEP were later used in another low-income Columbus neighborhood, Beaumont. Much attention was focused on Implementation of the WPEP. Interviewers were trained prior to the survey’s launch, then ongoing “touch base” meetings ensured adherence to procedures. Having two team members conduct interviews helped provide consistency. As a result of conducting interviews at a time and place convenient to them, nearly all participants who enrolled in the WPEP completed the survey and took the Resource Guide. Maintenance, the final aspect of RE-AIM, considers the extent to which new practices or behaviors have endured. The WPEP has played a key role in guiding planning efforts of groups such as the Weinland Park Collaborative and sparking ongoing research, evaluation, and analysis of results. Discussions are ongoing about doing a follow-up survey.