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Special Collection: Capacity Building for Domestic Violence Prevention Programming

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This collection was developed by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. Special thanks to PreventConnect, the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control for sharing their expertise and input to inform the content of this collection.

Introduction | Back to top

Domestic violence is preventable! As the movement to end domestic violence embraces this concept and explores the implementation of effective prevention programming, it is necessary to first examine the capacity of our networks, communities, and agencies to take on this work. The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence defines organizational capacity for primary prevention as “the agency’s ability to support and implement domestic and sexual violence prevention efforts” (2012). When an agency fully embraces primary prevention, the work becomes part of the organizational culture, existing in all departments, volunteers, board members, and administrators (PreventConnect, 2012). It all begins with systems change within our organizations.

Primary prevention is changing the social norms that allow and condone violence. Preventing violence means changing our society and its institutions—targeting attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, environments and policies to eliminate those that contribute to violence and to promote those that stop the violence. Primary prevention of domestic and sexual violence is defined as preventing violence before it occurs. This is social change work. This is the foundation of the movement working to end violence against women (MCADSV, 2012).

This collection provides materials to support the work of building this capacity for primary prevention work – primarily on the organizational level, but also as it relates to assessing and influencing change in individuals, communities, and institutions. The resources offered as part of this collection describe lessons learned from the CDC’s DELTA PREP project, provide capacity building guidelines, and review the necessary steps of readiness assessment, program development, training, evaluation, and planning for sustainability when it comes to implementing effective strategies to prevent domestic violence.

The DELTA PREP Initiative | Back to top

DELTA PREP (Preparing and Raising Expectations for Prevention) is a 4-year collaborative effort between Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC Foundation and the project’s funder, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Funded from 2008-2011, the project supported 19 state-level domestic violence coalitions to build organizational capacities to address intimate partner violence primary prevention. Lessons learned from this important project are key to understanding promising practices in capacity building for domestic violence prevention programming. For more information and core primary prevention resources, see the related Special Collection: Models in Prevention – CDC’s DELTA Program.

DELTA PREP Online Toolkit
The DELTA PREP Toolkit was developed by the DELTA PREP project, a collaboration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in support of 19 state domestic violence coalitions to build their organizational capacity for primary prevention of IPV. The Toolkit is a resource for state and community organizations that are engaging in primary prevention efforts and are interested in strengthening their organization’s ability to sustain and build upon their prevention work. The tools in this interactive Toolkit were used by the DELTA PREP project participant coalitions, and the materials have been informed by the experiences of these organizations. It is notable that DELTA PREP coalitions have continued to enhance and expand their primary prevention efforts since the Foundation project grant period ended in November 2011.
  • DELTA PREP: Intimate Partner Violence is Preventable | PDF PDF (40 p.)
    by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2012)
    This document describes the goals, strategies, and outcomes of the 19 state domestic violence coalitions funded by the CDC Foundation over a 3-year period to build organizational, state and community capacity for IPV primary prevention initiatives, practices, and programs.
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  • DELTA and DELTA PREP: Building Capacity for Primary Prevention of IPV | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2011)
    This 2-pager describes the CDC funded DELTA and DELTA PREP projects that support state/territory domestic violence coalitions as they 1) build organizational readiness; 2) enhance their state and community-level abilities to prevent IPV; and 3) build evidence for effective primary prevention practices, programs, and policies.
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  • Lessons from DELTA PREP Coalitions: Insights about Building Organizational Prevention Capacity | HTML HTML
    by the DELTA PREP Project (September 2012)
    This resource offers lessons from five DELTA PREP-funded coalitions who agreed to share experiences and insights about their prevention capacity building efforts by participating in day-long site visits where board and staff members, member programs, and external partners engaged in intensive interviews.
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  • Principles of Prevention | HTML HTML
    by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (February 2011)
    This online course teaches key concepts of primary prevention, the public health approach, and the social-ecological model.
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  • Building Capacity and Infrastructure for Domestic Violence Coalitions | HTML HTML
    by Gloria Terry for the CDC Foundation (July 10, 2012)
    The President of the Texas Council on Family Violence describes the coalition's experience of participating in the DELTA PREP project, describing its value in helping to build a strong foundation on which to build successful prevention programming.
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Capacity Building Guidelines | Back to top

As the movement to end domestic violence advances, advocates recognize that in order to best meet the needs of the community and their organizational goals for social change, it is necessary to draw a balance between the interwoven priorities of 1) enhancing safety and justice for victims/survivors and their children, and 2) promoting widespread cultural rejection of oppression and violence. The tools offered below provide guidance around building organizational capacity for the integration of Primary Prevention Theory into our daily work.

Learn.PreventConnect guides learners through online courses designed to increase capacity to prevent sexual and domestic violence. Courses are introductory, intermediate, or advanced with topics such as community mobilization, engaging bystanders, social marketing, and indicators of change.
  • Prevention Inventory of Organizational Changes and State/Community Activities to Build Capacity for Primary Prevention of Intimate Partner Violencee | PDF PDF (13 p.)
    by the Work Group for Community Health and Development, University of Kansas for the CDC Foundation (September 2012)
    This inventory is a tool for coalitions and agencies to use in identifying potential changes to consider when developing an action plan for building organizational capacity for primary prevention.
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  • Action Planning Workbook: Building Your Organization’s Capacity for Primary Prevention: Developing an Action Plan | PDF PDF (27 p.)
    by the Work Group for Community Health and Development, University of Kansas for the CDC Foundation (September 2012)
    This workbook provides a framework for coalition leadership and staff to discuss, identify and operationalize changes intended to integrate prevention into their organization.
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  • Embracing Prevention as Social Change: How to Build Organizational Capacity for Prevention | PDF PDF (10 p.)
    by the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Violence (March 2012)
    When the agency fully embraces primary prevention, the work becomes part of the organizational culture, existing in all departments, volunteers, board members, and administrators.
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  • Building Capacity for Prevention Efforts | PDF PDF (14 p.)
    by Jeanne Bell, hosted by PreventConnect (September 27, 2010)
    This web-conference was designed to help organizations assess their capacity for prevention program effectiveness.
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  • Effective Capacity Building in Nonprofit Organizations | PDF PDF (120 p.)
    by McKinsey & Company (2001)
    This report contributes to the growing national conversation about how to help nonprofits become stronger, more sustainable, and better able to serve their communities. Offers insights and examples of how nonprofits have pursued building up their "organizational muscle."
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Readiness Assessment | Back to top

Assessing organizations' and communities' level of readiness to embrace prevention concepts, prinicples, and goals is necessary in the work towards effective transformation. For more tools and information, see VAWnet's resources on Community Mobilization and Increasing Engagement.

  • North Dakota Community Readiness and Prevention System Capacity Assessment | PDF PDF (18 p.)
    by Jennifer Obinna and Julie Atella for North Dakota Council on Abused Women's Services (NDCAWS), North Dakota Department of Health Division of Injury Prevention and Control and the State Prevention Team (2011)
    This assessment reveals the capacity level of the network of individuals, groups and/or organizations that, through their interaction, have the potential to enhance the primary prevention of sexual and intimate partner violence.
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  • Community Needs and Resources Assessment | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance (2009)
    This 2-pager describes the process for identifying and prioritizing needs in 3 categories for the development of a primary prevention plan.
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  • Primary Prevention Capacity Assessment | PDF PDF (11 p.)
    by Sandra Ortega for the Ohio Domestic Violence Network (August/September 2010)
    The purpose of this self-assessment tool is to assist programs in developing Training and Technical Assistance opportunities that focus on the priority needs of the service providers for building primary prevention and evaluation capacity.
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  • Community Readiness: A Handbook for Successful Change | PDF PDF (70 p.)
    by Barbara A. Plested, Ruth W. Edwards, and Pamela Jumper-Thurman for the Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research (April 2006)
    The purpose is to guide communities or researchers in using the Community Readiness Model to better understand the process of community change and to develop effective, culturally-appropriate, and community-specific strategies for prevention and intervention.
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Program Development | Back to top

The Community Tool Box is a global resource for free information on essential skills for building healthy communities. It offers practical guidance in creating change and improvement, including tools for community coalition building and thorough descriptions of every step of the coalition building process.
  • Guidelines for the Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence & Intimate Partner Violence | PDF PDF (76 p.)
    by the Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health (2009)
    This manual, a technical assistance tool in developing primary prevention initiatives at local sexual and domestic violence agencies, was intended to serve as an organizing philosophy rather than an irrefutable prescription for prevention work.
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  • Tools for Change: A Guide to Primary Prevention Implementation | PDF PDF (72 p.)
    by Tim Love for the Texas Association Against Sexual Violence (2011)
    This toolkit includes information and resources related to understanding primary prevention, developing prevention programming in individual communities, and implementing a statewide primary prevention plan.
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  • Online Prevention Toolkit | HTML HTML
    by the Ohio Domestic Violence Network
    This toolkit was developed to be a central source of information on prevention work for those working on the individual, organizational, statewide and/or national levels.
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  • Strategy Selection Workbook: Key Steps to Selecting Primary Prevention Strategies | PDF PDF (8 p.)
    by Morgan J. Curtis, Emiliano Diaz de Leon, and Tim Love for the Texas Association Against Sexual Violence
    Deciding which materials (e.g., marketing campaigns, curricula, etc.) or strategies are primary prevention-based is often a difficult and involved process. This document is meant to help guide your process of determining if a strategy is likely to be primary prevention-based or not.
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  • Primary Prevention Toolkit | HTML HTML
    by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence
    The purpose of this toolkit is to share resources and knowledge that others have found useful in developing programs for primary prevention of intimate partner violence.
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  • The Community Toolbox Chapter 8: Developing a Strategic Plan | HTML HTML
    by the Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas (2012)
    This chapter of the online toolbox provides an overview of strategic planning, developing vision and mission statements, creating objectives, developing successful strategies and an action plan, gathering feedback, and identifying action steps to bring about community and system change.
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  • Poised for Prevention: Advancing Promising Approaches to Primary Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence | PDF PDF (38 p.)
    by Lisa Fujie Parks, Larry Cohen, and Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz for the Prevention Institute (January 2007)
    Includes a discussion of primary prevention of IPV, promising approaches to environmental/norms change, an examination of IPV primary prevention within immigrant communities, recommended actions to building momentum, and immediate next steps.
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  • Incorporating Primary Prevention at the Various Levels of Victim Services | HTML HTML [13:23]
    by Jenny Dills for PreventConnect (June 4, 2010)
    In this presentation, Jenny Dills, the Prevention Coordinator at the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, guided participants through an activity in which they were asked — from a coalition viewpoint — to think about primary prevention as it relates to victim services, secondary services and tertiary services.
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  • Catalog of Evidence-Based and Promising Practices | PDF PDF (211 p.)
    by Leah Perkinson for the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence<
    Committee members used this catalog when developing North Carolina's 10-Year Plan to Prevent Intimate Partner Violence to inform their recommendation of dating violence prevention and healthy relationship promotion programming for use in community, faith and school-based settings.
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Training and Education | Back to top

At the core of successful prevention programming is the ability to build and nurture "communities of practice" or "learning communities," not only through an internally transformative process within our organizations, but also with allies and stakeholders. There are several models for enhancing core skills around group facilitation and concensus building, including the Technology of Participation (ToP) Method from the Institute of Cultural Affairs.

Transforming Communities: Technical Assistance, Training, and Resource Center (TC-TAT) is a national technical assistance, training, and resource center that advances new practices, skills, movement building, and policies to prevent violence against women and related forms of abuse. Their Community Connections Toolkit provides guidance for successful community engagement.
  • Training Professionals in the Primary Prevention of Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence: A Planning Guide | PDF PDF (86 p.)
    by Deborah Fisher, Karen S. Lang, and Jocelyn Wheaton for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010)
    This Guide describes how to develop, implement, and evaluate a training process, taking into account your available level of resources - by turning awareness and knowledge into mastered skills and practices to prevent sexual or intimate partner violence.
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  • Rethinking Domestic Violence: A Training Process for Community Activists | HTML HTML
    by Raising Voices (2004)
    This is a training tool for community activists to help them strengthen capacity of community members to prevent domestic violence. It includes a series of training sessions that are participatory and that focus on helping training participants think about, discuss, and take actions to prevent domestic violence.
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Evaluation | Back to top

  • Evaluation for Improvement: A Seven-step Empowerment Evaluation Approach for Violence Prevention Organizations | PDF PDF (104 p.)
    by Pamela Cox, Dana Keener, Tiffanee L. Woodard, and Abraham H. Wandersman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2009)
    This manual is designed to help violence prevention organizations hire an empowerment evaluator who will assist them in building their evaluation capacity through a learn-by-doing process of evaluating their own strategies.
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  • Ohio Primary Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence & Sexual Violence Empowerment Evaluation Toolkit | PDF PDF (163 p.)
    by Amy Bush Stevens and Sandra Ortega for the Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN) & Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Prevention Program (December 2011)
    This toolkit provides guidance to local primary prevention providers on all stages of program evaluation including determining needs, resources, and capacity, stating outcomes and developing a logic model, and collecting, managing, and analyzing evaluation data.
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  • Evaluating Prevention | HTML HTML
    by the Texas Council on Family Violence
    Evaluating both our process and the outcomes we achieve can help us learn more about what's working, whether our work is making the kind of difference we hope to see, and what difference that difference makes. This page offers tools and resources to inform the evaluation of prevention efforts.
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  • Measurable Behavioral Objectives | HTML HTML
    by the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses
    This brief table provides a list of measurable terms that can be used when it comes to outcomes related to application, knowledge, comprehension, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
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  • Logic Model Development Guide | PDF PDF (71 p.)
    by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (Updated January 2004)
    Nonprofits today are being pressed to demonstrate the effectiveness of their program activities by initiating and completing outcome-oriented evaluation of projects. This guide was developed to provide practical assistance to nonprofits engaged in this process.
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  • Evaluation Webinar Series | HTML HTML
    by the Ohio Department of Health Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Prevention Program
    This series of six webinars was designed to support the evaluation of local prevention programs.
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  • Technical Assistance Guide and Resource Kit for Primary Prevention and Evaluation | PDF PDF (253 p.)
    by Stephanie M. Townsend for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (October 2009)
    This manual is intended to support prevention educators in building upon what they are already doing to evaluate their programs. Through evaluation, sexual violence prevention educators will be able to show what they have always trusted: that their programs do make a positive difference.
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Sustainability | Back to top

  • Making the Case for Domestic Violence Prevention Through the Lens of Cost-Benefit: A Manual for Domestic Violence Prevention Practitioners | PDF PDF (180 p.)
    by Angela Browne-Miller for Transforming Communities: Technical Assistance, Training and Resource Center (TC-TAT) (June 2006)
    Provides a step-by-step approach to understanding how cost-benefit thinking can be applied to domestic violence prevention. Each chapter offers an overview, definition and discussion of relevant terms, statistics and examples, and user-friendly worksheets
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  • User's Guide: Making the Case for Domestic Violence Prevention Using a Cost-effectiveness Framework | PDF PDF (49 p.)
    by Lisa Hoffman for Transforming Communities: Technical Assistance, Training & Resource Center (2010)
    This direct application tool supplements the manual, Making the Case for Domestic Violence Prevention Through the Lens of Cost-Benefit. It describes cost-benefit principles and offers hands-on tools to "make the case" for your prevention program.
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Helpful Organizations | Back to top

ICA Logo

The Institute of Cultural Affairs in the U.S.A.
"Releasing the capacity for positive social change and sustainable futures."

The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCDSV)
NCDSV provides technical assistance for both DELTA and DELTA PREP State Domestic Violence Coalitions and works closely with the CDC and CDC Foundation Staff as well as others organizations advancing prevention.

PreventConnect.org
PreventConnect is a national project with the goal of advancing the primary prevention of sexual assault and relationship violence by building a community of practice among people who are engaged in such efforts. PreventConnect also builds the capacity of local, state, territorial, national and tribal agencies and organizations to develop, implement and evaluate effective prevention initiatives.

Prevention Institute
Prevention Institute was founded in 1997 to serve as a focal point for primary prevention practice—promoting policies, organizational practices, and collaborative efforts that improve health and quality of life. Prevention Institute synthesizes research and practice; develops prevention tools and frameworks; helps design and guide interdisciplinary partnerships; and conducts training and strategic consultation with government, foundations, and community-based organizations nationwide and internationally.

Threshold Collaborative
"Threshold is a catalyst for change. Its mission is to help people deepen empathy and trust with the goal of building sustainable community-based change."

Transforming Communities: Technical Assistance, Training, and Resource Center (TC-TAT)
This national technical assistance, training, and resource center that advances new practices, skills, movement building, and policies to prevent violence against women and related forms of abuse, including domestic violence, sexual assault, teen dating violence and gender-based bullying.