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Rural Health Information Hub

Planning Approaches

Guidelines for using the Adapted Intervention Mapping (AIM) tool for planning an intervention are provided below. See Setting Priorities for a description of AIM.

Alternative planning approaches are available to help rural community networks identify evidence-based interventions. See the following modules for information on these approaches:

Role of the Community Task Force
The AIM process relies on regular meetings of a community task force. The task force is comprised of network members that are stakeholders in the target community. For example, members for a school-based obesity intervention may include representatives from the school administration, teachers, food-service staff, and parents. The responsibilities of the task force may include:

  • Participating in the planning process
  • Attending monthly planning meetings
  • Completing project-related work outside of meetings
  • Making decisions about desired interventions and implementation methods
  • Participating in interviews and surveys
  • Maintaining a program notebook to document the planning process
  • Eventually continuing the intervention process without outside facilitation

Role of the Academic Researcher/Facilitator
AIM is facilitated by researchers who:

  • Organize and lead the task force at each meeting
  • Accomplish technical aspects of intervention
  • Develop products for the task force members to review
  • Present relevant research to the task force

Steps in Planning Interventions
During regular meetings, task force members contribute their skills and knowledge to plan the intervention. Figure 2-4 presents an overview of key planning steps to be accomplished through task force meetings.

Table 2-4: Roles of the Task Force and Academic Facilitator in the AIM process
Process Task Force Member Roles Facilitator Roles
Map assets and assess needs Take photographs of surroundings

Discuss behaviors and factors that may contribute to obesity in the community

Discuss behaviors and factors that may contribute to healthy behaviors
Decide which environmental and policy changes are desired Use information generated to brainstorm potential interventions

Complete a changeability worksheet (Table 2-1) to rank change targets

Vote on which changes to implement
Share national guidelines, recommendations and best practices
Review logistics Who can make this change happen?

What are steps to enact the change?

What barriers might be encountered?

How can task members act and change environments to implement the change?
Arrange subcommittees Divide into subcommittees

Set timelines.

May conduct pilot tests of the intervention
Discuss program evaluation   Identify process and outcome evaluation design and measures

Anticipate the data desired by funders and stakeholders
Discuss program adoption Discuss how to generate knowledge and enthusiasm for the intervention