Partysafe Project

Contact name: 
Richard Midford
Position: 
Associate Professor
Organization: 
National Drug Research Institute
Telephone: 
61 (0)8 9266 1602
Fax: 
61 (0)8 9266 1611
Summary

Partysafe was a community mobilisation project, conducted in the remote northwest town of Carnarvon in Western Australia over a period of 18 months. The initial goal was to reduce alcohol-related harm associated with drinking in private settings. However, subsequent to the pre-intervention community survey, greater emphasis was placed on influencing males in the age range 25-45 years, because of the high risk drinking behaviour identified in this group. The intervention comprised a number of components, including local media advertising and advocacy; participation in high profile community collaborative campaigns and use of a peer character cartoon strip to highlight alcohol issues and model behaviour change. On completion of the intervention phase, process and impact data were gathered from a number of community sources. The major impact of the Partysafe Project was heightened awareness of alcohol issues in the community. The project also contributed in a major way to institutionalising a collaborative Christmas alcohol harm prevention campaign. Use of local media content was particularly effective in raising community awareness as to the project's message and garnering support for its aims.

Abstract

Background

Carnarvon, like most rural communities in WA, has a higher rate of alcohol consumption than in the metropolitan region, hence its selection as the target site. An additional reason for selecting a remote town was the belief that national and state level prevention strategies cannot always be successfully implemented due to a regions unique social and environmental influences.

Objectives

The project used a community mobilisation framework to reduce drug-related harm associated with drinking in homes and private parties.

Characteristics

Activities attempted to assess alcoholrelated harms and to raise local awareness of the potential problems associated with alcohol consumption.

Evaluation

A combination of archival quantitative data and community based qualitative data will be used to assess the projects success.

Conclusion

The design provided a weak basis for inferring a causal relationship between the intervention and changes in alcohol-related harm. The descriptive process analysis provided useful data with which to plan better interventions, and suggested that the intervention was implemented with considerable success.

Intervention details

Intervention setting
Community
Target population

males in the age range 25-45 years

Substances adressed
Alcohol
Actions
The Partysafe intervention comprised the following major component activities:Media advertising of prevention messages;Media advocacy of prevention generally and particular action strategies being undertaken in the community at the time;Publication of a weekly peer character cartoon strip highlighting alcohol issues and modelling behaviour change;Participation in a series of high profile community collaborative campaigns (The Christmas Collaborative Campaigns).
Theory/evidence behind the intervention

High rates of alcohol consumption and harm in the remote northern and eastern regions of Western Australia support the need for greater prevention efforts in these areas (Daly & Philp 1995; Holman et al. 1993; Midford et al. 1998; Unwin et al. 1997). However, metropolitan focussed national prevention campaigns may not be appropriate in such rural communities, as the social and environmental factors that influence drinking are quite different (Midford & McBride 1999). Furthermore, the prevention afforded by such campaigns may be quite small in individual communities. In addition, any prevention programme in rural areas needs to take into consideration the research that shows consumption predominantly occurs in private dwellings, rather than on licensed premises (Jeffrey & Milligan 2001; Midford et al. 1997; Boots & Midford 1995).

Number of people needed
1
Time required to run
full time project officer

Evaluation details

Evaluation type (e.g. process, outcome, cost-effectiveness)
Oucome evaluation, Process evaluation
Activities evaluated

Indicators used to assess the success of community mobilisation included an increase in local media coverage, the formation of action groups and coalitions, and survey data indicating an increase in community recognition and concern about alcohol-related harm. Program elements included training to promote responsible drinking in licensed premises and structural changes designed to lower risks.

Evaluation results (Process evaluation)

The major impact of the Partysafe project in its own right was heightened awareness of alcohol issues in the community. However, the project also contributed in a major way to institutionalising a collaborative Christmas alcohol harm prevention campaign.

Evaluation results (Outcome evaluation)

Use of local media content was particularly effective in raising community awareness as to the project message and obtaining support for its aims. Of particular interest was the effectiveness of local content in attracting community attention to the projects message of reducing alcohol-related harm.

Evaluation references

Cooper, M., Midford, R., Jaeger, J. and Hall, C. (2001). Partysafe Evaluation Report. National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia.

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