Author: 
Tamara Tur, Evaluation and Research Associate

What is the Annual Survey and Why Is It Important?

The Annual Survey helps CADCA identify the degree to which coalitions implement various components of the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF)—a process that is very familiar to hundreds of CADCA’s National Coalition Academy graduates. Much of the survey focuses on the five SPF elements that build coalition infrastructure: community assessment, capacity building, planning, implementation, and evaluation. We also monitor whether coalition members are paying attention to cultural competence and sustainability at every step of this process. Additionally, we collect descriptive, demographic information about coalitions across the country and the activities they implement in their communities.

The results of the survey provide many insights into coalition work. For example, they show whether coalitions serve predominantly rural, urban, or suburban areas; the substance misuse problems prevalent in their communities; and the number of involved stakeholders and volunteers who move the work forward. A wide range of active partnerships is certainly essential for maintaining coalition sustainability. Moreover, we use the data to inform our coalition development needs, strengthen national partnerships, and further develop and fine-tune our coalition research.

Annual Survey data can also serve as a great metric for coalitions like yours—

  • How do your coalition’s efforts and impact compare with coalitions across the country?
  • What successes have you had in your community?
  • What are some shared challenges?

For this purpose, we are sharing some of this information through our Annual Survey of Coalitions Fact Sheet. Every year, we highlight data on different frameworks and strategies that inform CADCA-trained coalitions.

We stand behind our data because for over a decade we’ve had strong participation from communities across the country. Every year we continue to invite all substance abuse prevention coalitions to share the processes and strategies that lead to community-level outcomes. This information helps us improve our services for our members and contribute to research on community coalition efforts in substance misuse prevention.

If you’ve contributed in the past, we hope to count on your participation once again. If you are completely new to coalition work or aren’t sure if your coalition has participated before, that’s okay. We gather information from both new and established coalitions to reflect the diversity in the field. The participation process is very simple: you may request a survey link for your coalition by emailing survey@cadca.org. We ask that only one survey is submitted per coalition to maintain the quality of data.  Prior to completing the survey, it may be helpful to have the following information on hand:

  • Coalition overview: focus areas, geographic location, staff, funding
  • Creation of partnerships and stakeholder engagement
  • Use of community assessment, logic models, and action plans
  • Implementation of individual- and community-level strategies

For additional questions, contact Tamara Tur at ttur@cadca.org or 703-706-0560, ext. 220.