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Evaluation of the Maine Aging - page 40 / 51

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Effectiveness

To learn about the effectiveness of coalition efforts, member surveys, document reviews and interviews provided perceptions of local participants. Of particular interest were improvements in member organizations' communication and coordination with one another on topics related to the delivery of services to adults who have unmet needs. Surveys conducted at the beginning and end of the project asked coalition members to describe the level of their organizations networking with others as defined by a list of interorganizational activities included in the survey. The survey also asked members to identify the interorganizational activities they viewed as most critical to improving consumer access to information and services. While changes in the ADRC project and evaluation plans preclude true social network analysis from these surveys, a sense of the changes over time can be seen in coalition members' choices regarding the most critical interoganizational activities.

The top two activities thought to be most critical at baseline were (1) refer adults with service needs to other organizations, and (2) have other organizations refer adults with service needs to you. Both of these activities represent relatively straightforward communication between organizations. At the beginning of the project, 95% of members surveyed reported that their organizations made referrals to other organizations, and 98% reported that they received referrals from others. At the end of the project, 100% of survey respondents reported that their organization made referrals to others and reports of referrals received from others remained the same (98%).

On the coalition follow-up survey, respondents chose (1) joint care/service planning, and (2) joint public education, as the two most critical activities. At the beginning of the project, 43% of members surveyed reported little or no participation in joint care/service planning. At the end of the project only 23% of those surveyed reported no or little joint care/service planning. Changes in reported levels of participation in joint public education were less dramatic, with 12% of respondents reporting that their organization did not participate in joint public education at baseline, and 7% reporting no participation in joint public education at the end of the project.

34Muskie School of Public Service

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