TReND: Evaluation of the TReND Initiative

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About the Project

Rationale: As the only national research network on tobacco and health disparities, TReND offers a unique opportunity for understanding how a multi-disciplinary, collaborative research effort can be used to further advance the scientific and research agenda of a relatively understudied yet increasingly important health issue. The overall goal of TReND is "to understand and address tobacco-related health disparities by advancing the science, translating that scientific knowledge into practice, and informing public policy." Given the number and complexity of the scientific initiatives, the variability in the TReND network, the levels of effort for building transdisciplinary work groups, and “moving” science into communities through effective channels to educate policy makers and affect policy change, it is critical to conduct a thorough process evaluation to examine, document, and ultimately understand the unique processes and strategies that TReND effectively executes to achieve its overarching programmatic goals.

Purpose: TReND’s evaluation team, led by Evaluation and Research Associates (ERA), will utilize a multi-disciplinary team of four national behavioral scientists and researchers to work with the TReND investigators to examine, document, and analyze selected processes and programmatic outcomes of the TReND network. The evaluation team will engage TReND’s members in an interactive process of implementing both formative and summative evaluation activities designed to capture the important anticipated outcomes and policy implications demonstrated by the TReND program implementers. Specifically, the purpose of the evaluation project is to (1) determine what programs were instituted as a result of each TReND funding mechanism, (2) what process was used to implement the TReND initiations, (3) what barriers were encountered, and (4) what value and impact the TReND initiative has evidenced with consumers or others that contributes to the elimination of tobacco related disparities through transdisciplinary research. The evaluation team will also will review and provide feedback on any project proposals (workgroup and full network) and written evaluation plans submitted as part of the TReND initiative.

Impact: The coordination of the evaluation effort will be facilitated via several planned meetings and in-depth interviews with the involved partners, scheduled conference calls, on-site technical assistance, and electronic mail. A preliminary evaluation report will be available in January 2008 and the final report is expected in December 2008. We hope the results of this evaluation project can be used by other collaborative, multi-disciplinary research programs to identify the critical elements of this research process that will streamline and maximize those processes most conducive to achieving programmatic goals.

Research Team

Ronald L. Braithwaite, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
ERA, Inc.

Margo Hall, MSc, Ph.D.
MBH Limited, Evaluation Research Services

Wei Li Fang, Ph.D.
Governor's Institute on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Inc

Ken Resnicow, Ph.D.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Contact Us

Principal Investigator
Ronald L. Braithwaite, Ph.D.
ERA, Inc.
1193 Greenridge Lane
Lithonia, GA 30058

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and American Legacy Foundation are proud to fund the Tobacco Research Network on Disparities (TReND). Previous support has also been provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office on Women’s Health, NCI Office of Women’s Health, and the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities.