Evaluation of WOCBA (women of child bearing age) food initiative
Summary of findings
Recommendations and Conclusions 1. The evaluation team only spoke to participants who went through the whole pilot and did not get a chance to talk to those who have dropped out: so there are limits on what can be gleaned about issues and challenges 2. Within the delivery of the pilot, there were some points of real success • In home format – appropriate for this audience (lacking self esteem and confidence) • Cooking instructor – the right qualities to create a climate of Trust • Content and learning approach: • Menu planner – develop planning skills but also contextualise cooking skills in real life (budget, time etc..) • Referral access: adequate for those who are not proactively seeking help 3. The outcomes: • The pilot addressed fundamental needs in the area of food /cooking • It equipped these newer/first-time mums to change their cooking practices and therefore food habits • And it acted as a real confidence boost for some to access other services and support provided by the community 4. But numbers are small • Recruitment targeted those with gaps in many areas of their lives • Necessarily ruling out ‘group-based’ events and so committing to an in-home format from the start • Scoping means that sessions are open-ended and recipes unknown from start • No group sessions in parallel, so no opportunity to pilot this element or its effectiveness in combination with in-home • Resource planning is always going to be labour intensive and high-cost – unless these issues are addressed 5. The control group was closer to the formative group in terms of needs and abilities – there were differences between these audience in term of their: • Cooking abilities and confidence levels • Different level of self-esteem and social confidence 6. The above refers to White British participants. The formative included South Asians: • South Asian audience not necessarily being addressed yet • Some issues around interpretation were perceived as being stumbling block to pilot • The formative addressed this by pairing respondents • Additional groups had included Romanian, Hungarian, and Polish people 7. 3 different audiences were identified within this WoCBA umbrella • Primary target : home based/ need to cover basics cooking skills • Secondary target: combination of home based and groups/address lack of skills and knowledge in specific areas • Tertiary target: group only/more about healthy eating 8. Following the pilot the needs and programme formats are now much clearer for these three audiences, • However, for the primary target there are boundary and protocol issues which need to be separated out from the food and basic skills training • Child protection – and simple practical day-to-day issues - may mean that absolute numbers are not easy to determine and plot • Resource intensive interventions – rather than mass behaviour change – is likely to be the definitive theme of a pilot aimed at this audience
The Specific objectives of the research for each of the pilots were to: 1. Describe the pilots as they unfolded, including how participants experienced them, and draw out learning about how implementation can be improved upon when the projects are rolled out 2. Assess the extent to which each of the pilots has achieved its aims, such as changes in attitudes, motivation and behaviours amongst participants 3. Assess the extent to which any unintended outcomes have occurred (both positive and negative) 4. Explain (theorise) the mechanisms through which any changes observed (intended or otherwise) have occurred and the factors that have helped or hindered the success of the pilots 5. And thinking about future evaluation, maybe ‘leave the ladder down’ with regard to researching longer-term behavioural changes?
The borough of Kirklees lies between Manchester and Leeds and comprises rural, urban and suburban areas. Some of these areas are highly affluent and some of them are extremely deprived and insular (e.g. Batley and Dewsbury). The largest ethnic group (besides White British) is of South Asian origin. They make up approximately one in ten of the Kirklees total inhabitants and up to a quarter or a third of towns such as Batley. Across the North Kirklees area, rates of infant mortality are higher than the national average (infant mortality being an important indicator of wider health issues such as poor diet, smoking, lack of physical exercise and foetal genetic issues) There are 14,400 women “of childbearing age” (11-45 years of age) who fall into the highest deprivation socio-economic groups (C2DE). NHS Kirklees is working with a range of partners to address these issues via a programme of activities under the banner of WoCBA (Women of Child-bearing Age). The programme employs a team of Health Improvement Practitioners. They work in two ways: 1. Ensuring that the needs of women of child bearing age are being considered and acted on by the NHS Kirklees Food, Smoking, Alcohol and Physical Activity Health Improvement teams 2. Developing communication and programmes specifically designed for women of childbearing age. NHS Kirklees and Kirklees Council jointly commissioned COI Strategic Consultancy to develop a social marketing strategy which went beyond just communication and promotion and linked messages to services and interventions. In October 2008, a presentation was given by COI Strategic Consultancy which informed the strategy for three social marketing pilots targeted at three separate segments of the WoCBA high-risk target. • Girls transitioning from compulsory education C2DE, 15-17 • Newly pregnant mums and women likely to become pregnant, C2DE 15-25 • Mums of young children, C2DE 18-50 ‘Food’ was the intervention aimed at White and Southern Asian mums not currently using cooking skills workshops (run in North Kirklees colleges and through Surestart), to ensure that the key influencers of family health (mums) are educated to prepare healthy food which falls within boundaries of budget, taste and tradition. Research was commissioned to evaluate the pilot sessions.
Research to evaluate a pilot social marketing intervention aimed at White and Southern Asian mums not currently using cooking skills workshops to ensure they are educated to prepare healthy food which falls within boundaries of budget, taste and tradition. The research informed a wider social marketing strategy conducted by Central Office of Information.
Formative stage • Conducted with 10 x women in long cooking-based session in children’s centre • Mix of discussion and practical in order to evaluate concept properly Pilot • Implementation targeting “group rejectors” • Launch area predom. S. Asian • Some challenges around launch • Interpreter issues and Ramadan • Plus swine flu • Leading to review of target and area: Dewsbury = White British Evaluation • Forms as record of the visits - 7 x forms returned • Tele-depths of participants/ non-participants - 5 x pilot participants, 5 x ‘similar’ non-participants • Tele-depths with pilot professionals - 3 x interviews: with programme leader, food tutor and HV (referrals)
Data collection methodology
Apr - Dec 2009