An early implementation assessment of Ontario’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge: results from a survey of key stakeholders

Nov 27, 2019 | Vine

BACKGROUND: In Ontario Canada the Healthy Kids Community Challenge (HKCC) is a program intended to reduce the prevalence and prevent childhood overweight and obesity through community-based initiatives to improve health behaviours. Guided by the RE-AIM framework and Durlak and DuPre’s Ecological Framework for Understanding Effective Implementation the evaluation focused on two objectives: 1) to describe the organization of the program at the community level; and 2) to identify opportunities for improvement through an early assessment of factors contributing to implementation.

METHODS: Participants (n = 320) – members of the HKCC local steering committee including the local project manager – completed a cross-sectional survey using SurveyMonkey and descriptive statistics were calculated. A sample 20%) of qualitative open-ended responses was thematically analyzed.

RESULTS: Results indicated strong respondent agreement that the HKCC enhanced individual knowledge of access to health-promoting programs (88.3%) and messaging regarding healthy behaviours for healthy kids with less for its effectiveness in reducing weight 53.1%). There was a high-level of adherence to HKCC social marketing messages and overall program structure with few Local Project Manager reports of adaptations to theme one (9.2%) and theme two messages (15.4%). Fewer Local Project Managers 50%) reported the existence of private partnerships. While most respondents agreed they had the appropriate information to complete mandatory reporting the usefulness of the HKCC online networking platform was in question only 47% of Local Project Managers agreed that it was useful). Results reveal sufficient funding from the province to support program implementation with a moderate level of local political commitment (63% of respondents).

CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that the HKCC was considered beneficial for enhancing access to health promoting programs could be feasibly implemented with adherence to centrally-developed social marketing messages and was amendable to local adaptation. Despite this few private partnerships were reported. Going forward there is opportunity to further evaluate factors contributing to HKCC program implementation particularly as it relates to buy-in from intervention providers and strategies for forming private sector partnerships to support long-term program sustainability.

PubMed Abstract

Vine M. M. J. J. W. Chong E. Laxer R. E. Ladak A. Manson H. 2019). An early implementation assessment of Ontario's Healthy Kids Community Challenge: results from a survey of key stakeholders. BMC Public Health191) 1568. doi:10.1186/s12889-019-7704-2