The implementation of the planned intervention is inseparable from identifying stakeholders associated with the success of the proposed projects as well as the barriers to the intervention introduction potentially imposed by the key stakeholders. In school-based interventions, there are commonly several groups of stakeholders: external influences, structural levels, internal school layers, and the local community.
The first group of stakeholders involves policymakers and representatives of health promotion facilities. The second group that is also known as administrative includes school boards and different departments of a school setting. The third group is made up of teachers, principals, staff, and students. Finally, the fourth group covers parents and other representatives of the local community participating in arranging school life issues, such as school recreational centers, if any. (Green, Sim, & Breiner, 2013).
Based on the belonging to a particular group, the roles of stakeholders in implementing the project differ. In general, it comes down to supporting research by funding or becoming involved in it, guiding the whole process by helping determine the critical research questions, and measuring the outcomes (Vera, 2013).
For the purposes of this research, representatives of all stakeholder groups will be included in order to maximize the chances of achieving positive outcomes of the intervention. As for the first group, external influences, the objective is to seek the support of the representatives of health promotion organizations. The goal is to use the provisions of their obesity prevention programs, if any, to supplement the findings of literature research instead of financing the project.
The potential contribution of this group of stakeholders is making the theoretical background of the intervention more comprehensive, thus increasing the potential effectiveness of the program. Speaking of the second group, administrative and structural levels, the school board of a particular setting and nutrition departments will be involved. The rationale for cooperating with the school board is the necessity of making the program official. In fact, launching a school-based intervention program is impossible without the permission of the school board. As for the nutrition department, the motivation is to ask for their help in providing healthy food for children – options for choosing appropriate food.
Other stakeholders covered by the project belong to the third group – internal school layers. As for this group, teachers and students are the main stakeholders that will be involved. Their role in implementing the project is critical, as they are the foundation for success.
Students are those who will be asked to attend theoretical classes, and their accomplishments will be measured as intervention outcomes, while teachers are those who may either motivate or demotivate students to participate in the project. Finally, the fourth group stakeholders, local community, will as well be involved Specifically, the idea is to engage parents because they determine children’s diet at home and school recreational centers because they may serve as the platforms for showing effective physical exercises in practice and achieving regular exercise load objectives.
Due to the critical role of all of the stakeholders in increasing the effectiveness of the intervention program and maximizing its outcomes, it is evident that all of them are as well associated with the high risks of project failure. Regardless of the differing contribution of stakeholders to the intervention implementation, the risk of barriers is common for all of the groups – unwillingness to participate in the project, i.e. poor collaboration with stakeholders (Totura, Figueroa, Wharton, & Fasiglia, 2015).
However, the influence of this threat varies with regard to their position. For instance, it is more critical in the case of the school board and students because they are directly connected to the outcomes of the intervention due to their role. On the other hand, it is insignificant when speaking of health promotion facilities and recreational centers because it is not complicated to find alternatives for their contribution.
Still, it is possible to prevent the risk of barriers mentioned above. Because of the commonality of this risk, the strategy for preventing it is the same for all groups of stakeholders. It centered on providing them with a detailed plan of the proposed intervention and expected outcomes. This step is imperative in order to guarantee that all key figures are well-informed of the planned actions so that the risks of ignoring the intervention due to misunderstanding it is minimal (Borys et al., 2012).
The main idea is to lay stress on the criticality of the problem by pointing to the national trends in childhood obesity as well as identifying local issues. More than that, it is essential to mention a wide range of obesity-related health concerns, especially for those stakeholders who are not familiar with the scope of the challenge (parents, school board and departments, recreational facilities, and students). However, in the case of failing to avoid barriers, there are always alternative strategies for minimizing risks. For instance, it is possible to change a school setting if the school board does not support the initiative or do exercises at home or schoolyard if the community stakeholders do not get involved.
Borys, J. M., Bodo, Y. L., Jebb, S. A., Seidell, J. C., Summerbell, C., Richard, D., … Swinburn, B. (2012). EPODE approach for childhood obesity prevention: Methods, progress, and international development. Obesity Reviews, 13(4), 299-315. Web.
Green, L. W., Sim, L., & Breiner, H. M. (Eds.). (2013). Evaluating obesity prevention efforts: A plan for measuring progress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Totura, C. M. W., Figueroa, H. L., Wharton, C., & Fasiglia, F. F. (2015). Assessing implementation of evidence-based childhood obesity prevention strategies in schools. Preventive Medicine Reports, 2, 347-354. Web.
Vera, E. M. (Ed.). (2013). The Oxford handbook of prevention in counseling psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.