• Presentation

Lessons learned about participatory evaluation: The Project DIRECT experience


Woodell, C., Roussel, A. E., Burroughs, A., Reid, L., & Aronson, R. (2006, November). Lessons learned about participatory evaluation: The Project DIRECT experience. Presented at American Public Health Association Annual Conference, .


Project DIRECT (Diabetes Intervention Reaching and Educating Communities Together) was the first comprehensive, community-based project in the United States to address the growing burden of diabetes among African-Americans. The goal of Project DIRECT was to use existing knowledge of diabetes risk factors and complications to implement community-level interventions to reduce the prevalence and severity of diabetes in communities with large African-American populations. RTI International conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the project during 2002-2005. The community-based participatory approach played an important role in the evaluation and greatly contributed to the quality of the findings. However, the approach is not without challenges. This presentation will describe the processes, benefits and challenges of designing and implementing the community-based participatory evaluation for Project DIRECT and will identify key elements of a successful participatory approach based on the Project DIRECT experience.