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National plans are increasingly common but infrequently evaluated. The 2010 United States National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) provided strategies to increase population levels of physical activity. This paper describes (i) the initial accomplishments of the NPAP sector teams, and (ii) results from a process evaluation to determine how the sectors operated, their cross-sector collaboration, challenges encountered, and positive experiences.
During 2011, a quarterly reporting system was developed to capture sector-level activities. A year-end interview derived more detailed information. Interviews with 12 sector leads were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed for common themes.
The 6 sectors worked on goals from the implementation plan that focused broadly on education, promotion, intervention, policy, collaboration, and evaluation. Through year-end interviews, themes were generated around operations, goal setting, and cross-sector collaboration. Challenges to the NPAP work included lack of funding and time, the need for marketing and promotion, and organizational support. Positive experiences included collaboration, efficiency of work, enhanced community dynamic, and accomplishments toward NPAP goals.
These initial results on the NPAP sector teams can be used as a baseline assessment for future monitoring. The lessons learned may be useful to other practitioners developing evaluations around state- or national-level plans.
Evenson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Satinsky are with the Dept of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.