Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Evaluation of a New Community Organizing Program at a Latino Advocacy Nonprofit in Pittsburgh, PA

Harpel, Caroline (2020) Evaluation of a New Community Organizing Program at a Latino Advocacy Nonprofit in Pittsburgh, PA. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Submitted Version

Download (1MB) | Preview


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is an Emerging Latino Community (ELC), where Latinos are a small but rapidly growing population segment. ELCs lack the social networks and access to resources present in traditional migrant locations. This inhibits community capacity-building and yields limited social support. Lack of social support is associated with increased mortality risk. ELCs demonstrate increased alcohol use, depressive symptoms, and lower physical activity compared to communities with greater social support. Interventions that address social support and community engagement may mitigate these adverse outcomes and are thus of public health significance, particularly in ELCs.
Casa San Jose (Casa) is a Latino advocacy nonprofit that promotes integration and self-sufficiency among Pittsburgh Latinos. In January 2019, Casa created its community organizing program to: (1) provide peer-led leadership training to participants and (2) connect participants to resources by holding monthly community meetings. Through peer-led trainings and connecting participants to resources, Casa has cultivated a space where participants feel comfortable becoming more civically engaged and encouraging their peers to do the same.
In April 2019, Casa requested a program evaluation. The evaluation objectives were to: (1) clarify the community organizing program’s goals and desired outcomes; (2) conduct a preliminary process evaluation; and (3) develop tools for outcome measurement in subsequent program evaluations that Casa could conduct independently.
Methods I used to address project objectives included gaining access to the setting, participant observation, in-depth interviews, meetings with Casa staff, and creating preliminary evaluation tables.
The results of this evaluation project align with its original objectives and are comprised of a description of Casa’s program goals and desired outcomes, identification of results from a preliminary process evaluation, and definition of parameters for future Casa-directed evaluations.
Evaluation results demonstrate that Casa has laid a solid foundation for its community organizing program. Leadership development workshops have helped participants become more civically engaged while gaining valuable communication skills. Community meetings have connected participants to resources. Adjustments, including more systematic communication with program participants and reaching Latinos outside of Casa’s pre-established network will further increase community capacity and participant self-efficacy, thereby improving public health outcomes such as depressive symptoms and alcohol use.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Harpel, Carolineharpelcaroline@gmail.comckh7
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDocumet, Patriciadocumetp@gmail.compdocumet
Committee MemberHawk, Marymary.hawk@pitt.edumary.hawk
Committee MemberRoss, Sharonseross@pitt.eduseross
Date: 30 July 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 April 2020
Approval Date: 30 July 2020
Submission Date: 24 April 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 93
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: evaluation, Emerging Latino Communities, promotor interventions, popular education
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2020 17:12
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2020 17:12


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item