Assess your group’s capacity to implement the selected strategies by answering three questions:
- What capacity is required to implement these strategies?
- Does your group have that capacity?
- If not, how will you improve your capacity?
Partners who are involved in the assessment and planning processes may find that they lack the skills needed to carry out one or more of the selected strategies. A plan to improve capacity may include involving additional community partners who already have appropriately trained staff, hiring staff with the necessary expertise, or providing training opportunities for staff and members who will be involved in implementing the intervention.
Everyone involved in the effort should understand his or her role in implementing the identified strategies. Ensure that all partners understand the group’s goals and selected strategies, the specific contributions of each partner, and how the activities to be implemented will lead to the desired outcomes.
Avoid having the tasks of implementation simply given to staff members, while others sit back and expect to hear about how the work is going without being directly involved. Staff may be able to fill a number of important roles, including preparing meeting minutes, compiling reports, coordinating meetings, facilitating communication with partners, maintaining accurate records for funding and reporting requirements, and assisting with planning, problem solving, and information management. However, with all these roles to fill, staff cannot also be expected to implement all the selected strategies by themselves.
Suggestions for sharing the work of implementation:
- Form small committees that each focus on a specific strategy
- Ask some members to be program “champions,” who speak about and promote the strategies in the community
- See if any members have connections to organizations or other professional and personal spheres of influence that they can leverage as resources for change in the community (e.g., use their connections to help implement an inter-organizational prevention effort)