So you are fighting the good fight, educating the community, implementing policy change and using environmental strategies right and left but your data is not changing or is changing for the worse. What did we do wrong, you might ask? Why aren’t you making a difference, your funders might ask Coalition members may wonder why they aren’t seeing changes as a result of their hard work.
Tracking key events, or events occurring in the community outside the control of the coalition, allows coalitions to have a record of those things that may limit the coalition’s impact on the community but also those things that may bolster the work of the coalition. These events provide alternative explanations for outcomes and support the coalition in telling its story to the community. Additionally, it helps demonstrate their contribution to change in the community health.
Key events can be both limiting and supportive events. Examples of limiting events include:
- Legalization of medical marijuana
- Budget cuts to prevention funding
- Election of an official opposed to coalition issues
- Revocation of ordinances that limit alcohol outlet density
- Elimination of intervention services in a school district.
Supportive events include:
- Increased prevention funding
- Ordinance to reduce density of alcohol outlets
- Revocation of a liquor license
- Increase in law enforcement personnel
- The election of an official supportive of the coalition’s position.
In order to effectively tell your story, tracking these events through the Key Events tab in REACHing Software is crucial.