Jan 222015

January 2015- The Policy & Research Group has been selected as the external evaluator for the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) five-year grant program entitled Provision of Technical and Capacity Building Assistance, funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ).The Provision of Technical and Capacity Building Assistance project aims to build the capacity of the public health system.

The Office of State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support (OSTLTS) within the CDC works with national nonprofit organizations to build the capacity and infrastructure of public health agencies and systems. Through the National Public Health Improvement Initiative (NPHII), OSTLTS has provided funding to awardees to provide support to health agents for accelerating public health accreditation readiness activities, implementing performance and improvement management practices and systems, and implementing and sharing practice-based evidence. According to the CDC, “The program goal is to systematically increase the performance management capacity of public health departments in order to ensure that public health goals are effectively and efficiently met.”

Through this five-year funding, APHA seeks to bolster the capacity of public health affiliates to advance national accreditation readiness and to increase access to public health resources, tools and promising practices. APHA will provide capacity-building sub-awards to leaders of state and regional public health associations to undertake activities leading to the national accreditation of their local, tribal, state, and territorial health departments. In addition to direct grants, APHA will administer technical assistance to assist public health affiliates in developing tools and resources that support activities in preparing health departments for national accreditation.

PRG expects to use an online data collection system that will allow public health affiliates to report on activities, progress toward sub-grantee level goals and objectives, as well as initiative-wide goals and objectives. In addition, a case study will be conducted to provide an in-depth analysis of affiliate grantees’ capacity to engage in strategic partnerships to bolster accreditation readiness among local, state, tribal and territorial health departments. The qualitative data collection will provide context for the quantitative findings.

Since inception in 2010, CDC OSTLTS has awarded over $109.5 million to fund state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments to make fundamental changes and improve the delivery and impact of public health services. Supported in part through the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Affordable Care Act, year 4 of the National Public Health Improvement Initiative yielded $32.5 billion awards to 73 public health affiliates.