Report

Formative Evaluation of the Public Health Unit Youth Engagement Initiative

2013

Formative Evaluation of the Public Health Unit Youth Engagement Initiative

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This report was published by Ontario Tobacco Research Unit.

HERE’S HOW THE AUTHORS DESCRIBE THIS REPORT:

In 2010, the Ministry of Health Promotion & Sport (MHPS) committed funding to a Public Health Unit Youth Engagement Initiative as part of Smoke-Free Ontario (SFO) prevention programming. The Initiative involves the adoption of youth engagement principles across PHU programs, the recruitment of core youth leaders who will then engage in health promotion on tobacco control and other health topics in the community, the provision of training on the principles of youth engagement to staff and core youth leaders, the funding of youth-led health promotion activities, and opportunities for peer networking and learning (MHPS, 2010).

Funding for the implementation of the YE Initiative involves the hiring of one Youth Engagement Coordinator (YEC) in each PHU to support the development and implementation of the YE Initiative. The YEC works collaboratively across various risk factor-related programs within the PHU, externally through community partnerships, and with Youth Development Specialists and other regional stakeholders at the Tobacco Control Area Networks (TCANs) to establish regional plans and priorities for youth engagement (MHPS, 2010).

The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU) worked closely with MHPS, TCANs, PHUs and youth representatives to conduct a formative evaluation of the PHU YE Initiative. The focus of this formative evaluation study was to examine the process of implementation of the YE Initiative as outlined in the 2010 scopes of service, and identify facilitators and challenges to this process with the purpose of informing Initiative improvement and advancement of implementation. We also began to assess perceived early and anticipated impacts of the Initiative at youth and community-levels.

Kirst, M., Borland, T., Haji, F. & Schwartz, R. (2012). Formative evaluation of the public health unit youth engagement initiative. Toronto, ON: Ontario Tobacco Research Unit.

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