Technical Assistance Resources

RAMP has consistently assisted local asthma coalitions with strategic planning, program implementation, evaluation, and problem solving. RAMP has also provided direct support and assistance to existing and new programs. To make this technical assistance more readily available, RAMP has compiled a set of resources in the areas that technical assistance is most often requested. This is not an exhaustive compilation, but rather a set of good, user-friendly tools that should help get you on your way.

To access the resources, simply click on the topical area of interest. Once there, you will find a brief description of the topic and a set of links to the materials. If you find that a link no longer works or if there is an important topical area we haven’t provided, please contact RAMP. Once you have accessed the tool(s) and tried to utilize/adapt them for your needs, feel free to contact RAMP if further assistance is needed.

There are 3 overall resources we would like you to consider when searching for additional information. These resources cover many topics and have very applicable materials. They are also referenced in specific topical areas where relevant. These resources are:

  • The Community Toolbox: Bringing Solutions to Light offers over 7,000 pages of free and practical guidance in creating change and improvement: http://ctb.ku.edu/en/default.aspx
  • Center for Civic Partnerships provides direct assistance with facilitation, leadership development, and community engagement. They also have a vast collection of readily accessible tips, tools, and resources: http://www.civicpartnerships.org/index.htm

Topics:
Advocacy
Coalition Development
Community Needs Assessment
Data
Evaluation
Meeting Facilitation
Media
Program Planning
Strategic Planning
Sustainability

ADVOCACY

Working to influence policies is an important activity for coalitions to consider engaging in. To have a lasting impact on asthma disparities, remember to consider policies that address the root causes of asthma (e.g., housing policy, air quality policy, and education policy). The following resources provide tools and information to help with your advocacy efforts:

Policy Link:

Alliance for Justice:

Better World Group:

  • Advocacy and campaigning PowerPoint presentation (attachment)

COALITION DEVELOPMENT

Coalitions are partnerships and collaborations between community groups that have objectives in common to make change within a community. Coalitions can look and feel differently, be permanent or temporary, or they can focus on a single or multiple issues. A well-organized, broad based coalition will be successful in creating policy change, increasing public knowledge, creating a network and development of innovative solutions to complex problems. To have a lasting impact on asthma disparities, equitable representation from the community seeking change must be key stakeholders in all aspects of the coalition development. The following resources can help guide coalitions with suggestions for every aspect of the development process:

Prevention Institute:

The Community Tool box:

Policy Link:

Coalitions and Partnerships in Community Health:

Wisconsin Clearing House for Prevention Resources:

COMMUNITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT

Community needs assessments help guide organizations to be change agents by helping to determine strengths, resources, and gaps to meet the needs within a community on an identified issue (e.g., asthma service needs). The assessment can range from basic information and data gathering to more complex collection of input from community members and stakeholders. This ultimately becomes part of the program planning process. We strongly encourage the involvement of the community throughout the needs assessment process, especially those most impacted by the issue, to add richness to the statistical data collected and help guide decisions about programs or policies for the community. The following resources provide tools and information to help with all steps of a community needs assessment:

Community Tool Box:

Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

Community Needs Assessment Guide (Loyola University, Chicago):

Center for Civic Partnership:

DATA

Accessing data on asthma either locally, statewide, or nationally is very important. The uses for data can range from informing program decisions to grant applications to discussions with legislators. The data show that communities of color, particularly African American, are disproportionately affected by asthma —prevalence, hospitalizations, deaths, emergency room usage, and exposure to environmental triggers. RAMP does not independently collect or maintain asthma data, but the following resources do:

Local and statewide data sources:

  • Always check with your county health department. The often compile county-wide statistics on health conditions, including asthma. They may be able to break the data down at least to the zip code level.

National data sources:

  • See information above about data requests for California Breathing. These requests can include national data.
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) will have data on adult lifetime and current asthma prevalence: http://cdc.gov/brfss/

EVALUATION

Evaluation involves the development and implementation of a plan to assess your program in a systematic way using both quantitative and qualitative measures. Evaluation seeks to provide information that is useful for program development and improvement, program replication, resource allocation, and policy decisions. We strongly encourage including research questions that address asthma disparities and the inequities that lead to them for a more complete assessment of impact. The following resources provide tools and information to help with evaluation activities:

Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook:

The Center for the Advancement of Community Based Public Health:

American Academy of Pediatrics:

The Community Tool Box

Free Management Library:

The California Endowment’s Evaluation Resources:

GROUP/MEETING FACILITATION

Facilitation is a key part of group process to help the members work together to accomplish their goals. Each coalition needs to find the best way for them to manage meetings regarding leadership, participation, and decision-making. The following resources provide tools and information to help with facilitation:

Center for Civic Partnerships:

Community Tool Box:

The Free Management Library:

Facilitate.com:

MEDIA

Communicating information about your organization, initiatives, and concerns is an important piece of achieving your goals. This can take many forms and in the electronic age, this continues to evolve. The existence of disparities in health are still not widely known, so where appropriate, consider using your communication efforts as an opportunity to acknowledge asthma disparities and some of the root causes (especially if you have local information to share). The following resources provide tools and information to help you with a variety of media strategies:

Policy Link:

The Community Tool Box:

Centers for Disease Control:

Cause Communications:

Available services for media activities:

PROGRAM PLANNING

Program planning involves having an understanding of the needs of the community of interest, determining how your organization’s resources match with those needs, planning and delivering appropriate programs to address the needs, evaluating the implemented programs, and then making adjustments as necessary. There are other sections in this set of resources to cover some of these topics, but this section focuses on planning and delivering programs. Depending on the community, it may be important to consider the populations most affected and most vulnerable when developing solutions. Additionally, making programs culturally appropriate is essential when determining how a program is designed and implemented. The following resources provide tools and information to help with planning activities:

The Community Tool Box:

The Community Guide:

Free Management Library:

STRATEGIC PLANNING

Strategic planning is a creative process for determining an organization’s long-term goals and then developing the best approaches for achieving them. It is a management tool that can be used to determine the organization’s vision, mission, values, goals, roles and responsibilities, and timelines. We recommend that you gather community input throughout your planning process to ensure their priorities are included and that there is buy-in for those who will be included in the implementation of the work. The following resources provide tools and information to help with strategic planning efforts:

Community Tool Box:

Community Development consultants:

The Free Management Library:

SUSTAINABILITY

A key part of coalition development is sustainability planning. This includes both program planning and fundraising with an eye towards the future. It is important to constantly asses the strength of an organization and its program objectives, while also measuring the capacity to generate the funding necessary to successfully move forward. A clear articulation of how the organization’s work is helping to reduce asthma inequities will be helpful in gathering community support and funding for those efforts. The following resources provide tools and information to help with sustainability:

The Center for Civic Partnerships:

Guide Star:

M+R Strategic Services:

  • Developed a sustainability toolkit for RAMP-CAFA (http://www.mrss.com/home.php). Contents of the toolkit are listed here. If there are specific materials from the table of contents that interest you, please contact RAMP for more information.

Klein and Roth Consulting:

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