LT19: Community-wide Recognition Programs

Framework Component

Changes – Multi-Sector

Indicator Description

This indicator focuses on entire cities, multi-county regions, or tribal jurisdictions in which civic leaders are working toward community-wide improvements in living and business conditions. It identifies the number of such jurisdictions where work on SNAP-Ed relevant objectives, activities, and outcomes is being conducted that is attributable, in whole or in part, to the efforts of SNAP-Ed and its partners.

This indicator is similar to LT7 (Program Recognition), which recognizes achievement in settings such as early childhood education (ECE), schools, worksites, faith (churches/mosques/temples), and parks.

Background and Context

Community-wide recognition programs are popular among governors, mayors, other elected officials, and community leaders as a way of bringing together the public, nonprofit, and business sectors, mobilizing efforts, and working together to improve living, social, environmental, health, and business conditions. Standards and benchmarks may be set by authoritative third parties, often based on extensive consensus-building among a cross-section of experts and opinion leaders. This kind of approach is believed to result in comprehensive solutions for long-term, complex collective impact–type problems like obesity prevention or “livable communities.” Most recognition programs maintain a publicly posted roster of members, often by achievement level. There is no single national source that lists the communities participating in national or statewide recognition programs.

Authoritative recognition processes can mobilize a cross-section of community leaders and organizations toward important, long-term change. Recognition itself can be an incentive to stimulate sustainable, comprehensive, multi-sector efforts that benefit residents, community livability, and economic development. Well-developed recognition programs provide education, leadership, peer support, and publicity. They may provide an infrastructure within which to achieve many of the outcomes sought in Environmental Settings and Sectors of Influence cited in the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework.

This indicator is strategically important for at least two reasons: First, in localities that already participate in a recognition program, understanding of, concern about, and work on SNAP-Ed social determinants would be high. Second, where communities have achieved a level of recognition but disparities persist, SNAP-Ed expertise, infrastructure, and know-how may be very welcome. In both cases, results should be achieved relatively quickly and efficiently, thus benefiting large numbers of low-income residents and building recognition of SNAP-Ed as an effective brand.

Some states have award programs for exemplary or striving localities. Examples of national recognition programs include:

  • Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties (http://www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org/about-us/lets-move-cities-towns-and-counties/) – 500+ cities, county, and town sites “to create healthier communities for healthy kids”: administered through the National League of Cities.
  • Let’s Move! in Indian Country (http://lmic.ihs.gov) – For tribal governments, Urban Indian Centers, business, youth, and nonprofit sector “to raise the next generation of healthy Native children”; administered through the Department of the Interior with help from the Partnership for a Healthier America.
  • STAR Communities (http://www.starcommunities.org/rating-system/framework/) – 90+ certified or member communities engaged in the first national certification system to recognize sustainable communities; administered by STAR Communities, a nonprofit based in Washington, DC.

State Plan: Consider adding a SMART objective to work with communities in your state that are engaged in recognition programs. These may have SNAP-Ed interventions in place, or they may be ones where there are qualifying low-income neighborhoods that do not yet have SNAP-Ed programming.

Assessment, targeting: Become familiar with the standards, expectations, resources, tools, current participants, and infrastructure of the formal recognition programs; identify elements that align with SNAP-Ed priorities, programs, and partnerships and identify SNAP-Ed and partner resources that help achieve each.

Engage with stakeholders: With partners, reach out to the local leadership bodies of community-wide recognition programs to determine common interests, feasibility, and potential benefits of working together; if appropriate, agree on a plan of action.

Set and record benchmarks that harmonize with the recognition program.

Outcome Measures

The outcomes for this indicator may include:

LT19a. The number of communities with which SNAP-Ed Implementing Agencies have formally
partnered to qualify for certification in specific objectives relevant to SNAP-Ed objectives
LT19b. The number of communities that have newly applied for recognition in SNAP-Ed relevant topics due, at least in part, to partnering with SNAP-Ed
LT19c. The number of communities that achieve initial recognition in SNAP-Ed relevant topics at the bronze, silver, or gold levels or All-Star (Let’s Move!) due, at least in part, to partnership with SNAP-Ed
LT19c. The number of communities that secure maximum points in SNAP-Ed relevant topics to achieve 5-Star, 4-Star, or 3-Star certification, in partnership with SNAP-Ed

What to Measure

  • Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties and STAR: As each designation level is achieved, record the completed SNAP-Ed relevant milestones that contributed to achieving that level. Report changes in the four “pillars,” namely:
    • Parents and caregivers (including child care and afterschool, public settings, restaurants)
    • Nutrition in schools (HUSSC, summer meals, NSLP and SBP, and Chefs)
    • Physical activity (including Let’s Move! Outside, joint-use agreements, Safe Routes to School, daily PE in schools, classroom sessions)
    • Healthy, affordable, accessible food (food policy councils, SNAP, gardens, government procurement, free water)
  • STAR Communities: Specify and record specific SNAP-Ed related changes in each of the Objective Areas that earn points contributing to achievement of a higher recognition level. Report achievement of qualifying scores for objectives relevant to the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework in the following Goal Areas:
    • Built environment
    • Climate and energy
    • Economy and jobs
    • Education, art, and community
    • Equity and empowerment
    • Health and safety
    • Natural systems
    • Innovation and progress
  • Let’s Move! in Indian Country: Use the four pillars and the Indian Country Toolkit, and record specific SNAP-Ed related changes as they are achieved, including securing new resources (grants, donations, partnerships) and earning a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award. The four pillars are entitled:
    • Healthy start on life
    • Developing healthy schools
    • Increasing physical activity
    • Increasing access to affordable, healthy foods and establishment of a food policy council.

Report completion of items that contribute to the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework from the menu of specific steps in the Indian Country Toolkit.

Population

Low-income residents of communities that are engaged in community-wide national or state recognition programs

Surveys and Data Collection Tools

The assessment tools and application forms can be found through each of each recognition program.

Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties http://www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org/about-us/lets-move-cities-towns-and-counties/

Let’s Move! in Indian Country http://lmic.ihs.gov

STAR Communities http://www.starcommunities.org/rating-system/framework/

Key Glossary Terms

Additional Resources or Supporting Citations

N/A