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“Intangible Outcomes” & Social Determinants of Health:
..Professional Development Workshops

The "Intangible Outcomes" approach to program development and evaluation helps the leaders of "grassroots" nonprofit and community organizations document the outcomes of their programs that are essential to their mission, but are not captured by traditional program evaluation methods.
While traditional methods generate data sets that are useful for purposes of accounting and for third party comparison, they are of limited use for documenting the iterative living-and-learning-in-place processes that characterize grassroots community organizations, or for enhancing the capacity of those organizations to address the Social Determinants Of Health* that affect their communities.
The professional development exercises we use during our workshops were designed to help nonprofit and community leaders systematically investigate the complexity of Social Determinants Of Health that affect their communities, and iteratively plan and evaluate the efficacy of their programs with a level of nuance that reflects that complexity. The participatory action-research approach that informs these activities recognizes the importance of documenting the outcomes of the exploratory, iterative, and “formative” program development and evaluation processes that are characteristic of grassroots community programs to complement the “summary” data generated by more traditional methods like surveys, epidemiological data, and attendance rates.
This approach is of particular importance in communities where Social Determinants Of Health such as sexism, geographic isolation, homophobia, ageism, "pockets of poverty," and racism contribute to health disparities between demographic groups, neighborhoods, and regions. A shared consciousness about these social determinants is a pre-condition to the culture change and collective action required to ameliorate those disparities.

These methods and tools are useful for:
  • Investigating the impacts of Social Determinants Of Health, including impacts that are common to all members of a community and impacts that are unique to specific identity groups.
  • Assessing a community’s awareness of Social Determinants Of Health for purposes of program development and proposal writing.
  • Documenting shifts in community awareness and community capacity to act on Social Determinants Of Health for purposes of formative program evaluation and summary reporting.

DOWNLOAD a copy of our "Documenting Intangible Outcomes" professional development workbook (215K pdf)

If you think a professional development workshop would be helpful for your organization,
we will be glad to hear from you. Forward to our "Contact Us & Invitation" page >>

* For more information about Social Determinants Of Health, see the State of Wisconsin
Department of Health Services >>

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Design Coalition Institute, Inc. 2088 Atwood Ave. Madison WI. 53704