With extensive government resources contributed each year to training and technical assistance for helping communities deliver public health programs, it is crucial for state and federal officials to identify cost-effective capacity-buildin solutions. Practitioners are under substantial pressure to quickly acquire the knowledge and tools to successfully plan, select, implement, and evaluate public health programs. With CDC's continued focus on accountability for program outcomes, it has become critically important to develop innovative, cost-effective, scalable strategies to strengthen community capacity to protect and promote health. The proposed project will directly address this need through the development and testing of a customizable interactive software product designed to empower communities to build the competencies needed to successfully deliver prevention programs. Scaling up this type of capacity building requires the integration of two components: (1) an evidence-based model used to train community practitioners to effectively deliver public health programs;and (2) an interactive technology platform that allows for customizable training. Getting to Outcomes (GTO) is a results-based approach to accountability that builds capacity to deliver effective programs using a 10-step process. We will adapt GTO for use with Positive Youth Development (PYD) programs. PYD is an approach that engages youth in their environments in a manner that is constructive, recognizes youths'strengths, and promotes positive outcomes. The goal of this project is to develop interactive web-based software for individualized training and practice that will build community practitioners'capacity to effectivey plan, implement, and evaluate PYD programs. The proposed software will be built on a state of the art dynamic e- learning platform. Community practitioners will learn through a tailored experience combining customized instruction with interactive exercises to encourage learners to reflect on, apply, and practice their skills. No other technology product offers a comparable system for building capacity of communities to effectively deliver PYD programs. This Phase I SBIR project will accomplish three specific aims: (1) Gather recommendations on how to adapt GTO to PYD through consultation with experts and literature searches;(2) Develop a working PYD GTO software prototype;and (3) Conduct a feasibility test with 60 stakeholders. By building local capacity to plan, implement, and evaluate PYD programs on a broad scale, the proposed product has the potential to significantly impact public health by maximizing positive outcomes for the nation's youth. In addition, this cost- effective training software can extend to areas beyond PYD to potentially transform the public health approach to capacity building.
With substantial resources spent each year on training and technical assistance to help communities deliver public health programs, it is vital for state and federal officials to identify cost-effective capacity-building strategies so that service delivery organizations can easily acquire the knowledge and tools to effectively plan, select, implement, and evaluate public health programs. The proposed project directly addresses this need through development and testing of a customizable interactive software product designed to enable communities to build the capabilities needed to successfully plan, implement, and evaluate Positive Youth Development (PYD) programs, thereby maximizing positive outcomes for youth. PYD is an approach that engages youth in their environments in a manner that is constructive, recognizes youths'strengths, and promotes positive outcomes. In addition to promoting effective use of PYD, this cost-effective training software has the capability to easily extend to other program areas, which could potentially transform the public health approach to capacity building.