Background and Context
Measuring PSE adoption goes hand-in-hand with estimating reach. Reach is often based on estimation when actual counts are unavailable, considering the population that is potentially exposed to the intervention (UNC, 2013). Evaluators should also consider ways to maximize measures of reach by monitoring a policy or environmental change that can spread across sites or an entire organization. For instance, the reach of a local school wellness policy will be greater when the policy is adopted district-wide rather than one school at a time. We calculate total reach to demonstrate the broader exposure on the entire organization.
Many estimates of reach require accessing partner data, such as enrollment at child care facilities, if these data are not known or publically available. Often data-sharing agreements across public and private sectors are necessary and may require letters of agreement. Institutional Review Board (IRB) other levels of approval that may be necessary.
Takes place when SNAP-Ed sites or organizations put into effect an evidence-based PSE change, such as those included in the SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions: An Obesity Prevention Toolkit for States.
MT6a. Number and proportion of sites or organizations that make at least one change in writing or practice to expand access or improve appeal for physical activity or reduced sedentary behavior
MT6b. Total number of policy changes
MT6c. Total number of systems changes
MT6d. Total number of environmental changes
MT6e. Total number of promotional efforts for a PSE change
What to Measure
The documentation of change(s) adopted in the SNAP-Ed qualified site or organization. Documentation (direct observation, photographic evidence, repeated self-assessments or surveys) or interviews with key informants to confirm the uptake of the PSE change in the site or organization. Physical activity–related changes can include one or more of the following PSE changes, often including policies, practices, and programs that make physical activity more convenient and desirable. The following list is not exhaustive; other evidence-based or practice-based changes may arise.
A. Improvements in hours of operation of recreation facilities
B. New or increased use of school facilities during non-school hours for recreation, or shared use policies
C. New or stronger limits on entertainment screen time (in accordance with American Academy of Pediatrics)
D. Increase in school days/time spent in physical education
E. Improvements in time spent in daily recess
F. Workplace access to physical activity facilities at reduced or no cost
G. Let’s Move! Active Schools
H. Incorporating physical activity into the school day or during classroom-based instruction
I. New or improved access to structured physical activity programs
J. Improvements in access to safe walking or bicycling paths, or Safe Routes to School or work
K. Addition of bike racks
L. Improvements in access to or appeal of stairwells
M. Improvements in access to exercise or recreation facilities
N. Signage and prompts for use of walking and bicycling paths
O. New and improved stairwell prompts
P. Increased awareness of the PSE change by the target audience
It is important to document each change that occurs within a site. One change alone may not have enough magnitude to produce an impact. Thus, evaluators can document multiple changes that occur (e.g., signage, structured physical activity opportunities). Measuring adoption may be labor-intensive; thus, it can be appropriate to choose a sample of sites for evaluation purposes (see Appendix E for details on sampling).
Site-level [click to expand]
Estimate the total number of persons at the site who are expected to encounter the change on a regular (typical) basis and are assumed to benefit from it. The total number of persons who have the potential to benefit from the change in the site cannot exceed the total number of persons at the site. When there are multiple changes occurring in the same site, it is important to only count those persons who are potentially encounter the change on a regular basis.
- For example, a SNAP-Ed agency consults with a child care provider to strengthen limits on time spent each day watching television; report the total number of children at the child care facility on a regular basis. In this case, it is 65 children; this would be your total potential reach.
- Another example: A local YMCA location that is affiliated with SNAP-Ed agrees to offer a free physical activity program to community residents of all ages and abilities one day a week. The total number of community residents in the town in 6,000. This would be your total potential reach.
Organization-level [click to expand]
Estimate the total number of persons at all sites affiliated with an organization who are expected to encounter the change on a regular (typical) basis and are assumed to benefit from it. The total number of persons who have the potential to benefit from the change in the organization cannot exceed the total number of persons at the organization.
- For example, a child care wellness council (i.e., an organization) adopts a policy that all child care providers holding membership in the council will adopt a new structured physical activity program on an ongoing basis. There are 22 child care providers in the council with a combined enrollment of 375 children; 375 would be your total potential reach. At this stage of evaluation, do not measure full-scale implementation of the policy at each site; this comes later in the evaluation framework (see LT6).
- Building upon the same YMCA example from above: the local SNAP-Ed program has developed a partnership with the YMCA’s city administrative office that oversees 22 locations across 12 towns. Through the partnership, the YMCA’s Director or Programs agrees to expand the free activity day in all 22 locations. The total number of community residents in all 12 towns in 62,000. This would be your total potential reach.
Reporting Reach Characteristics
When aggregating reach of PSE changes across sites and organizations, you are encouraged, but not required to describe the characteristics of persons potentially reached. Because PSE activities are to be adopted only in qualifying SNAP-Ed eligible sites, we assume the majority of persons exposed to the change are low-income. However, reporting reach information by race/ethnicity, gender, languages spoken, household income levels, eligibility for free and reduced priced meals, ZIP codes, or other factors will be important to address stakeholders’ concerns and questions. Reporting reach data by different socioeconomic, race, and Latino/Hispanic origin may explain to what extent PSE changes have the potential to benefit disparate populations.
Surveys and Data Collection Tools
Key Glossary Terms
Additional Resources or Supporting Citations
American Academy of Pediatrics – Media and Children: https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Pages/Media-and-Children.aspx
National Center for Safe Routes to School: http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/
University of North Carolina Center for Training and Research Translation: Evaluating Policy, Systems, and Environmental Changes http://evaluationpse.org/