• Journal Article

Collecting Costs of Community Prevention Programs: Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative


Khavjou, O., Honeycutt, A., Hoerger, T., Trogdon, J., & Cash, A. J. (2014). Collecting Costs of Community Prevention Programs: Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 47(2), 160-165. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2014.02.014


BACKGROUND: Community-based programs require substantial investments of resources; however, evaluations of these programs usually lack analyses of program costs. Costs of community-based programs reported in previous literature are limited and have been estimated retrospectively. PURPOSE: To describe a prospective cost data collection approach developed for the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program capturing costs for community-based tobacco use and obesity prevention strategies. METHODS: A web-based cost data collection instrument was developed using an activity-based costing approach. Respondents reported quarterly expenditures on labor; consultants; materials, travel, and services; overhead; partner efforts; and in-kind contributions. Costs were allocated across CPPW objectives and strategies organized around five categories: media, access, point of decision/promotion, price, and social support and services. The instrument was developed in 2010, quarterly data collections took place in 2011-2013, and preliminary analysis was conducted in 2013. RESULTS: Preliminary descriptive statistics are presented for the cost data collected from 51 respondents. More than 50% of program costs were for partner organizations, and over 20% of costs were for labor hours. Tobacco communities devoted the majority of their efforts to media strategies. Obesity communities spent more than half of their resources on access strategies. CONCLUSIONS: Collecting accurate cost information on health promotion and disease prevention programs presents many challenges. The approach presented in this paper is one of the first efforts successfully collecting these types of data and can be replicated for collecting costs from other programs