Process Evaluation of Community Coalitions for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention: A Case Study Comparison of Researcher- and Community-Initiated Models

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Community-Based Research | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Research | Medicine and Health | Public Health Education and Promotion


During the past decade, coalitions have been assumed to be central to the structure and functioning of community health promotion and disease prevention projects. However, there has been little empirical evaluation of community coalitions. The present paper presents case studies of two different coalition models, one a coalition developed to support a community-based drug abuse prevention trial, and the other, a CSAP Community Partnership Demonstration Program site. Comparison of the two coalitions on key characteristics indicated that they were similar except for their impetus for initiation (researcher versus community-initiated) and primary purpose (to support experimental program components versus to coordinate prevention programming and develop new prevention services). Members of the two coalitions (n = 51 in the researcher-initiated, and n = 49 in the community-initiated coalition) responded to a written survey that assessed immediate coalition process and activity outcomes, including perceptions of coalition efficiency, outcome efficacy, interagency coordination, and benefits of involvement. After controlling for demographic differences, the two groups of coalition members were similar, overall, on the measures of immediate outcomes. Univariate analyses indicated only one difference: members of the researcher-initiated coalition had higher ratings of perceived action committee effectiveness than did members of the community-initiated coalition. The results suggest that the impetus for initiation and primary purpose of a coalition may not be as important as other factors in influencing immediate process and activity outcomes.

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© 1996 John Wiley & Son, Inc.