The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Project details:

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is the largest U.S. foundation whose mission is devoted to improving health. RWJF is known for its leadership in ensuring quality of and access to health services. LTG Associates has worked on a variety of projects with the RWJF, generally at their invitation. The following are descriptions of two of those projects.

Strengthening What Works – Preventing Intimate Partner Violence in Immigrant and Refugee Communities
Strengthening What Works – Preventing Intimate Partner Violence in Immigrant and Refugee Communities (SWW) was a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). For more than four years, LTG worked as the national program office to identify promising practices to prevent intimate partner violence (IPV) among immigrant and refugee populations in the U.S. RWJF invested $4.5 million dollars in a pioneering effort to provide technical assistance, capacity building, and evaluation for eight diverse IPV prevention programs for immigrants and refugees as a way to improve the health and well-being of underserved, vulnerable populations. Ethnic communities represented in the project included Hispanic/Latinos, Asian Americans, and Arab Americans. LTG, as the national program office, was responsible for management of the project in addition to the specific services described below.

For SWW, LTG provided evaluation, technical assistance and capacity building to grantees conducting innovative or promising approaches focusing on IPV prevention in immigrant and refugee communities in the United States. Through evaluation, this initiative attempted to close the loop between academic and public health research, and practitioners at the community level, turning practice into evidence of effectiveness. As a part of this initiative, LTG worked on the development of a pathway to connect the mainstream, evidence-based practices (EBP) system to field-developed innovations that generally respond to the reality of complex populations for which EBPs do not often provide appropriate responses. SWW also supported the development of learning collaboratives focused on two themes that emerged from grantee intervention evaluations: changing cultural norms and healthy relationships development. The initiative also focused on building the capacity of organizations working in communities to conduct and utilize evaluations to enhance their work and improve their effectiveness.

LTG identified key elements in effective interventions to prevent IPV featured in a policy brief nationally distributed by RWJF. LTG also conducted national briefings across policy and program audiences to report the results.

Strong Cultures, Healthy Children – Cultural Exploration of Advocacy for Preventing Early Child Obesity in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Populations
Strong Cultures, Healthy Children: Exploring Cultural Strengths in Raising Healthy Children in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Communities was to establish a culturally grounded, community-based, and informed framework for building and sustaining advocacy practices and networks for promoting child wellness in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities. This project was intended to contribute to the limited ethnic-specific data and information related to obesity, its related illnesses, and risk factors. It was also intended to provide information that would allow early childhood obesity in AA and NHPI communities to be understood in context in order to understand the disparities and associated barriers to leading healthy lives, and which make it difficult to address those inequities.

Using a rapid ethnographic assessment method that LTG developed, called the Community Identification (CID) process, for each site and ethnic community, LTG identified networks of community leaders, community- and faith-based organizations, as well as service providers that are important in understanding the community landscape for future advocacy work on child wellness. The CID process also played an important role in relationship-building with, and gaining trust of the communities, as it facilitated our entry into the community of interest by being introduced by appropriate gatekeepers of the community. In total, LTG reached out to 438 contacts across the sites, and we were able to communicate with 271 of them. Of these individuals, several key gatekeepers in each community collaborated to organize group discussions with community members. With the gatekeepers’ help, a total of 56 group discussions were conducted, consisting of 409 community members, in five ethnic communities in 7 sites, including: Honolulu, HI, Los Angeles, CA, Merced, CA, Chicago, IL, Minneapolis, MN, Providence, RI, and Arlington, VA.

The project yielded findings on three levels: (a) methodological adjustments made in working with AA and NHPI communities, (b) understandings of cultural values that support raising healthy children, and (c) challenges parents face in raising healthy children and means of supporting healthy behaviors. LTG reported to the RWJF, to the grantees, and conducted conference presentations to inform the field about the process and outcomes of the project.

Project info:

  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)
  • Multiple Departments