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Food Policy Council Self-Assessment Tool: Development, Testing, and Results


Calancie, Larissa; Allen, Nicole E.; Weiner, Bryan J.; Ng, Shu Wen; Ward, Dianne S.; & Ammerman, Alice S. (2017). Food Policy Council Self-Assessment Tool: Development, Testing, and Results. Preventing Chronic Disease, 14(2), 160281. PMCID: PMC5338598


A large number of food policy councils (FPCs) exist in the United States, Canada, and Tribal Nations (N = 278), yet there are no tools designed to measure their members' perceptions of organizational capacity, social capital, and council effectiveness. Without such tools, it is challenging to determine best practices for FPCs and to measure change within and across councils over time. This study describes the development, testing, and findings from the Food Policy Council Self-Assessment Tool (FPC-SAT). The assessment measures council practices and council members' perceptions of the following concepts: leadership, breadth of active membership, council climate, formality of council structure, knowledge sharing, relationships, member empowerment, community context, synergy, and impacts on the food system. All 278 FPCs listed on the Food Policy Network's Online Directory were recruited to complete the FPC-SAT. Internal reliability (Cronbach's alpha) and inter-rater reliability (AD, rWG(J), ICC [intraclass correlations][1], ICC[2]) were calculated, and exploratory and a confirmatory factor analyses were conducted. Responses from 354 FPC members from 94 councils were used to test the assessment. Cronbach's alpha ranged from 0.79 to 0.93 for the scales. FPC members reported the lowest mean scores on the breadth of active membership scale (2.49; standard deviation [SD], 0.62), indicating room for improvement, and highest on the leadership scale (3.45; SD, 0.45). The valid FPC-SAT can be used to identify FPC strengths and areas for improvement, measure differences across FPCs, and measure change in FPCs over time.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Preventing Chronic Disease


Calancie, Larissa
Allen, Nicole E.
Weiner, Bryan J.
Ng, Shu Wen
Ward, Dianne S.
Ammerman, Alice S.