Did It Work? Taking Stock of Your Communities Talk Activity
When you invest in holding a Communities Talk activity or event, you—and your partners or participants—will want to walk away knowing the effort made an impact. A good starting place for evaluation is to determine what success looks like to you and your community (ideally before the activity takes place).
Community engagement is one measure of success. But you’ll need more information to determine if your activity has the potential to prevent underage drinking in your community going forward. Keep in mind the goals you created when planning your activity and then develop some methods to determine if they were met.
Here are a few questions to help you understand what your activity accomplished:
- Do attendees know more about ways to prevent underage drinking than they did before?
- Did attendees show their commitment to substance misuse prevention in the community by responding to next steps you initiated during your event or activity (e.g., signing a pledge, setting up a follow-up discussion with others in the community, agreeing to work together on a task force, partnering on a campaign or working together on PSAs, etc.)?
- Did the presentations/speakers/activities provide new information or perspectives about substance use?
Read Evaluating Your Communities Talk Activity for information about survey tools and other evaluation methods you can use to measure success now and in the future. And remember to share your outcomes with SAMHSA and other prevention professionals by logging into your Communities Talk profile and telling us what you did. When we work together, we can maintain this downward trend in underage drinking!