This article explores facilitators and barriers to individual and organizational capacity to address priority strategies for community-level chronic disease prevention. Interviews were conducted with a group of participants who previously participated in a community priority-setting workshop held in two Alberta communities. The goal of the workshop was to bring together key community stakeholders to collaboratively identify action strategies for preventing chronic diseases in their communities. While capacity building was not the specific aim of the workshop, it could be considered an unintended byproduct of bringing together community representatives around a specific issue. One purpose of this study was to examine the participants’ capacity to take action on the priority strategies identified at the workshop. Eleven one-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with workshop participants to examine facilitators and barriers to individual and organizational level capacity building. Findings suggest that there were several barriers identified by participants that limited their capacity to take action on the workshop strategies, specifically: (i) organizations’ lack of priorities or competing priorities; (ii) priorities secondary to the organizational mandate; (iii) disconnect between organizational and community priorities; (iv) disconnect between community organization priorities; (v) disconnect between organizations and government/funder priorities; (vi) limited resources (i.e. time, money and personnel); and, (vii) bigger community issues. The primary facilitator of individual capacity to take action or priority strategies was supportive organizations. Recognition of these elements will allow practitioners, organizations, governments/funders, and communities to focus on seeking ways to improve capacity for chronic disease prevention.
Global Health Promotion Vol. 17, Issue 2, p. 34-43