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ERIC Number: EJ791776
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1097-6736
Evaluation of the Fighting Back Initiative
Sherwood, Kay E.
New Directions for Evaluation, n105 p15-38 Spr 2005
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation began developing a multisite initiative in 1986 that would employ community-generated strategies to reduce the use and abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs. From a community planning phase that began in 1990 through two phases of implementation, the Fighting Back initiative had been in place for twelve years, backed by a foundation investment of $88 million at the time this case was begun. This figure includes $14 million for an independent evaluation commissioned by the foundation to measure the results of Fighting Back, particularly to determine whether and how much reduction in drug and alcohol use occurred in the target communities. In early 2002, the conclusion of the evaluators was that across the Fighting Back sites, the initiative did not produce significant reductions in use. There were measurable reductions in the use of some substances in some individual sites, but the evaluators did not attribute these to the activities of the local Fighting Back groups. These findings stirred new attempts to understand what happened in Fighting Back--both what happened in the communities that were funded to work on the "demand side" of the drug equation (that is, the arena of purchase and use of drugs by consumers) and what happened in the course of the evaluation of the initiative. The continuing debate about Fighting Back centers on whether community coalitions are a necessary, if not sufficient, condition for local efforts to combat substance abuse and what evidence the Fighting Back experience offers on this question. (Contains 12 notes.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A