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October 2017

What's New in Prevention?

Generating Direct Impact: Collecting Community Level Data

Practitioners in the field of prevention are constantly examining the best ways to use data to tell a story. Prevention organizations are aware of the added value that surveys can bring. However, conducting surveys is not the only means of generating the direct impact that programs are having within the community. Organizations should begin by determining what they want and need to know and examine innovative ways to obtain the information.

Below are a few alternative strategies that can be used to demonstrate how you and your program are making a difference:

  1. Conduct focus groups, interviews or conversations. Using these strategies can provide useful information as part of formal data collection. Apply the findings correctly to increase program effectiveness.
  2. Use preexisting data. Consider examining research to see if there are community members with existing information that supports the efforts your organization is pursuing.
  3. Collect data through observation using performance-based indicators to answer the questions you are seeking.

Using data can help not only to confirm the impact and outcomes of the programs you are operating in your organization, but it can also serve as a resource to apply for city, state and federal funding opportunities. Potential funders always ask: “how do you know it is working?”  Collecting data will provide the answers.

For more information, contact Monique Price-Taylor, M.S. Peer-to-Peer Program Manager, Direct Line (860) 757.3592  or

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