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Urban Food Policy Forum: Evaluating Community Food Programs: What do we know? What do we still need to learn?

  • CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy 55 West 125th Street, 7th floor New York, NY 10027 USA

Part of our Urban Food Policy Forum series.

Evaluation: Funders demand it, policy makers use it, agency directors want it, front-line staff sometimes resent it, and too often community residents gain nothing from it.  Many of the community food programs implemented in New York City in recent years have been evaluated but it’s sometimes been a challenge to translate findings into more effective practice. In this session, panelists engaged at various levels in the evaluation of community food programs will discuss these questions:  

1.  What have we learned from evaluations of community food programs in New York City in the last five years?

2. How useful have these evaluation studies been to making decisions and how could we make them more useful?

3.  How can community food programs, policy makers, funders and evaluators work together to build a solid evidence base for decision-making? 

Our goal is to inform current and future evaluations of community food programs so that five years from now, we can be confident that our programs are more effective and more efficient.

Panelists:

Afia Bediako, Community Health Advocate, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Rachel Dannefer, Director of Research and Evaluation, Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center at East Harlem, Center for Health Equity, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Rick Luftglass, Executive Director, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund

Kate McKenzie, Senior Director of Programs, City Harvest

Moderator: Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor of Public Health, Faculty Director CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy

Resources

Additional readings: 

Freudenberg N, Tsui E. "Evidence, power, and policy change in community-based participatory research." American journal of public health 104.1 (2014): 11-14. 

Ammerman A, Smith TW, Calancie L. Practice-based evidence in public health: improving reach, relevance, and results. Annu Rev Public Health. 2014;35:47-63. doi: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032013-182458.