Journal Articles

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Cancer Causes & Control


PURPOSE: to improve population health, community members need capacity (i.e., knowledge, skills, and tools) to select and implement evidence-based interventions (EBIs) to fit the needs of their local settings. Since 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has funded the national Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) to accelerate the implementation of cancer prevention and control EBIs in communities. The CPCRN has developed multiple strategies to build community members' capacity to implement EBIs. This paper describes the history of CPCRN's experience developing and lessons learned through the use of five capacity-building strategies: (1) mini-grant programs, (2) training, (3) online tools, (4) evidence academies, and (5) evaluation support for partners' capacity-building initiatives.

METHODS: We conducted a narrative review of peer-reviewed publications and grey literature reports on CPCRN capacity-building activities. Guided by the Interactive Systems Framework, we developed histories, case studies, and lessons learned for each strategy. Lessons were organized into themes.

RESULTS: Three themes emerged: the importance of (1) community-engagement prior to and during implementation of capacity-building strategies, (2) establishing and sustaining partnerships, and (3) co-learning at the levels of centers, networks, and beyond.

CONCLUSION: CPCRN activities have increased the ability of community organizations to compete for external funds to support implementation, increased the use of evidence in real-world settings, and promoted the broad-scale implementation of cancer control interventions across more than eight states. Lessons from this narrative review highlight the value of long-term thematic networks and provide useful guidance to other research networks and future capacity-building efforts.


United States, Humans, Capacity Building, Delivery of Health Care, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S., Neoplasms

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