Dissemination and utilization of research findings from "An Analysis of Community-Based Services and Supports for Children and Young Adults with Special Needs in Hillsborough County."
Hillsborough Coalition for Children and Youth with Special Needs
Published: June 2005
Available from: Children's Board of Hillsborough County
1002 E. Palm Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605
The purpose of this project was to facilitate effective dissemination and utilization of data from An Analysis of Community-Based Services and Supports for Children and Young Adults with Special Needs in Hillsborough County (Raffaele Mendez & Hess, 2003), a collaborative study that identified gaps in the provision, coordination, and continuity of services for children and young adults with disabilities or special health care needs in Hillsborough County. Researchers and community members who helped guide the analysis determined that, due to the exceptionally broad scope of the study, a dedicated effort was needed to (a) effectively disseminate study results to a diverse group of stakeholders, and (b) ensure that research findings were used to address service gaps across multiple domains. With funding from the Children s Board, two consultants worked with a steering committee to lead dissemination and utilization activities. A social marketing framework was used to develop strategies that were responsive to the varying interests and information needs of multiple stakeholder groups, thus increasing the potential for utilization of the data. A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities , Threats) identified factors that could impact the project s overarching research and dissemination goals, and provided the foundation from which subsequent objectives, activities, and expected outcomes were formulated. Social marketing techniques that were used to disseminate study findings included segmenting target audiences, designing a product (research report) that was marketable to those audiences, making the product easy to understand and accessible, and using effective communication channels. (Author abstract)
community agencies; special needs; Florida; community based services; research methodology