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To spark such conversations, we convened leaders of seven leading healthy lifestyle programs that we support as part of our Healthy Lifestyles Program Evaluation Workshop. Our goal was to bring program leaders together to come to consensus on a common set of metrics for measuring the success of their interventions. Working with Dr. Rafael Perez-Escamilla, Director of the Office of Public Health Practice at the Yale School of Public Health, we used the Program Impact Pathways (PIP) model, to teach a cutting-edge, comprehensive and rigorous evaluation approach our partners can further improve evidence-based programs.  
 
By bringing together our community partners in this unprecedented way, we were able to take inventory of what’s working, hear successes in different parts of the world and take steps to ramp up efforts to achieve even greater impact.  
 
From this consensus-building process, three critical indicators of success emerged that will now be applied across all of our programs: 
  1. Nutrition Knowledge: percentage of program participants who improve their nutrition knowledge 
  2. Physical Activity: percentage of participants who increase their daily amount of activity or play 
  3. Healthier Eating: percentage of participants who report increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and other fresh foods 
Aligning on these KPIs was invaluable.  However, the most inspiring moment in the workshop was seeing people from different cultures, customs and languages share what works in their countries and programs. Attendees took away general tips to enhance the work they were already doing, including the need to get parents involved in children’s health, as well as setting and maintaining transparent program targets. Such outcomes answer Mondelēz International’s Call For Well-being by providing our partners with best practices and resources that they can apply to their programs.
 
If you are interested in convening your partners, here are a few considerations:  
  • Don’t underestimate grantees’ interest in being better partners. When given the opportunity and resources, they will learn how to improve their program process, align goals and better measure their success.  
  • Get experts involved early to prep partners and help set the stage for success. The International Nutrition Foundation and Dr. Perez-Escamilla helped convene the partners and build the skills needed to successfully arrive at a uniform metrics.  
  • Recognize that every partner has something special – a unique innovation that differentiates them, defines their success and can be passed on to other programs. We realized that tapping into these learnings across borders has the potential to advance our collective efforts exponentially. For example, the Mondelēz Hope Kitchen program in China adopted and implemented the idea of school gardens from Brazil’s Health in Action program.  
  • Don’t let cost be a deterrent. The cost of bring our partners together was minimal (less than 1 percent of total program investments) but the gains were priceless.
So whether you’re funding a program, trying to build and expand one, or both – don’t be afraid to invest in and ignite conversations between partners, communities and other donors. This kind of transparent and collaborative approach is pivotal in the fight against childhood obesity.
 
To learn more about the workshop and the PIP model see the Food and Nutrition Bulletin September issue. For information on Mondelēz International’s Call For Well-being and partnerships, please visit www.mondelezinternational.com/well-being/community-partnerships or join the conversation at @MDLZ.

 

This post was written and contributed by:

Nicole Robinson
President
Mondelēz International Foundation