Programming Connection

Many Men, Many Voices (3MV) 

Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP)
Toronto, Ontario
2011

Evaluation

The original 3MV program was developed in the U.S. and evaluated through a randomized controlled trial prior to being disseminated by the CDC’s Diffusion of Effective Behavioral Interventions project (DEBI). For more information on this iteration of the program, please see links to the DEBI site in Other Useful Resources

Black CAP has implemented its own systematic evaluation plan for its version of 3MV. Research assistants (RAs) are employed to carry out this evaluation, which includes a pre-intake interview, a pre-participation survey, an exit interview one week after the retreat, an online survey one month after the retreat, and another online survey three months after the retreat. The RAs are present at the retreat to document input and collect feedback from the participants, mentors and facilitators. Participants are made aware that their participation in the program will be documented by researchers for use in evaluating and improving the program.

The information collected from these surveys and observations has been used by Black CAP to make adjustments to the program in each of its five initial iterations. After the completion of five retreats, two participants from each retreat were invited back for a one-time focus group. The data from this group were being compiled into a final comprehensive evaluation of the program at the time of writing and will be posted in the Program Materials section when it becomes available.

Following are samples of participant testimonials collected at various stages of the evaluation process to date:

 “We were able to come together as a Black gay community and discuss important issues surrounding us like AIDS and HIV. That topic brought us all together and made us a family.”

“The amount of strength I walked out with in the end [was impressive]. I was moved way beyond farther than I thought I would be. I had so many insecurities and self-doubt.”

“It was good to hear from and see older Black mentors that went through what we’re going through, to hear their experiences and ask questions to help us with our troubles right now. It’s hard to find people to look up to, especially when you’re a Black male."

“Even going into the retreat I was sceptical. A group of Black young males [isn’t] going to listen: we’re going to rant and rave; we’re not going to learn anything. [But] being there, a family was created, and I was surprised by that.”

Black CAP eventually plans to disseminate information collected during the delivery and evaluation of 3MV through theatre, which will be developed and presented through a partnership with a theatre company in Toronto.

Future plans for expanded evaluations of the program include seeking funding to conduct a structured, quantitative analysis of its impact on the behaviours, relationship and emotions of participants in Black CAP’s version of the program. Black CAP also recognizes the need going forward to more clearly identify programming needs as distinct from research and evaluation goals.