The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Rape Prevention Education (RPE) funds every U.S. state, Guam and Puerto Rico, to implement strategies to prevent sexual violence before it begins. To help increase the prevention and evaluation capacity of its local and statewide coalitions, the North Dakota Department of Health engaged the Improve Group as a technical assistance provider.
To assist coalitions in developing and sustaining action plans to prevent violence against women through the North Dakota Rape Prevention Education Program (NDRPE), the Improve Group team:
- Conducts training on primary prevention and evaluation.
- Provides prevention coordinators with both evaluation and mentorship via regular calls, meetings and visits.
- Coaches local and state partners in designing and implementing action and evaluation plans.
Because facilitation is key to the success of NDRPE efforts, the Improve Group:
- Facilitates many of the planning discussions.
- Trains prevention coordinators to facilitate planning themselves.
- Supports prevention coordinators by co-facilitating planning events.
Using the Technology of Participation (ToP®) methods as a facilitation tool, trained Improve Group staff prepare North Dakota partners to implement ToP in their community engagement work. This method helps prevention coordinators to:
- Engage people effectively in conducting prevention efforts.
- Connect community leaders with community action teams.
The data speaks for itself. Comparing results from a 2011 statewide community readiness assessment for prevention capacity with follow-up assessments in 2014 for Fargo-Moorhead and Grand Forks, data showed an increase in overall community readiness. In Fargo-Moorhead, for instance, the score increased 32%, which means program coordinators there are effectively and successfully implementing productive and realistic action plans.
“The Improve Group have been highly effective working at the state level as well as local level. They have guided many of our local coalitions to better and more productive work in engaging communities to address sexual violence prevention.”
- Diane Reed, injury/Prevention Program Director, North Dakota Department of Health