Applied data and research is one component in a comprehensive approach to creating a shift in community norms and standards through environmental prevention strategies.
Applied data and research refers to the strategic use of data and the latest research throughout the various phases of an environmental-prevention project. Applied data and research have many applications that change with different phases of the environmental-prevention project. They can be used to:
- Identify the magnitude and scope of the problem
- Identify contributing factors and underlying conditions
- Identify potential solutions and their impact
- Provide tools to engage the community
- Provide a scientific basis for policy solutions
- Guide the process and evaluate its effectiveness
- Demonstrate change that occurs within a community
It is essential to systematically acquire useful data and research and to continue to use both on a daily basis to inform and guide strategic project decisions. Unlike many prevention programs that follow predefined implementation instructions,environmental prevention projects rely on real-time data and research to determine the best “next steps” of the project.
Some examples of data collection and research useful for environmental prevention
- Community readiness assessments for policy-focused solutions
- Environmental or causal factor assessments to identify contributing or underlying community conditions
- Media coverage analysis
- Public opinion polls that measure community awareness
- Public opinion polls that measure community support for policy change
- Law enforcement data
- Driving under the influence and minor in possession offender surveys
- Place of last drink surveys
- Mapping of alcohol outlets and alcohol-related crime or youth-sensitive areas
- Publications of best practices and emerging approaches
- Publications of the impacts and trends associated with a problem
As a part of the data collection for the San Diego County Binge and Underage Drinking Initiative, an Annual Report Card is produced. This Report Card captures the progress and outcomes associated with the Binge and Underage Drinking Initiative along with the role the Policy Panel has played in advancing the goals of the Initiative.