Strengthening community leadership: evaluation findings from the california healthy cities and communities program.Health Promot Pract. 2008 Apr; 9(2):170-9.HP
Collaborative approaches to community health improvement such as healthy cities and communities have the potential to strengthen community capacity through leadership development. The healthy cities and communities process orients existing local leadership to new community problem-solving strategies and draws out leadership abilities among residents not previously engaged in civic life. In an evaluation of the California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC) Program, leadership development was one of several outcomes assessed at the civic-participation level of the social ecology. Data collection methods included focus groups and surveys, semistructured interviews with coordinators and community leaders, and review of program documents. Findings suggest that the CHCC program enhanced capacity by expanding new leadership opportunities through coalition participation, program implementation, and civic leadership roles related to spin-off organizations and broader collaborative structures. Communities in rural regions were particularly successful in achieving significant leadership outcomes.