The development of a network for community-based obesity prevention: the CO-OPS Collaboration

Allender, Steven; Nichols, Melanie; Foulkes, Chad; Reynolds, Rebecca; Waters, Elizabeth; King, Lesley; Gill, Tim; Armstrong, Rebecca; Swinburn, Boyd
January 2011
BMC Public Health;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p132
Academic Journal
Background: Community-based interventions are a promising approach and an important component of a comprehensive response to obesity. In this paper we describe the Collaboration of COmmunity-based Obesity Prevention Sites (CO-OPS Collaboration) in Australia as an example of a collaborative network to enhance the quality and quantity of obesity prevention action at the community level. The core aims of the CO-OPS Collaboration are to: identify and analyse the lessons learned from a range of community-based initiatives aimed at tackling obesity, and; to identify the elements that make community-based obesity prevention initiatives successful and share the knowledge gained with other communities. Methods: Key activities of the collaboration to date have included the development of a set of Best Practice Principles and knowledge translation and exchange activities to promote the application (or use) of evidence, evaluation and analysis in practice. Results: The establishment of the CO-OPS Collaboration is a significant step toward strengthening action in this area, by bringing together research, practice and policy expertise to promote best practice, high quality evaluation and knowledge translation and exchange. Future development of the network should include facilitation of further evidence generation and translation drawing from process, impact and outcome evaluation of existing communitybased interventions. Conclusions: The lessons presented in this paper may help other networks like CO-OPS as they emerge around the globe. It is important that networks integrate with each other and share the experience of creating these networks.


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