Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC), EMPOWER is a three year capacity building project that focuses on planning, implementation, evaluation and sustainability. The six EMPOWER states (C.O., K.Y., M.A., N.C., N.D., and N.J.) are tasked with pulling together a diverse group of individuals representing public and private, community-based and statewide agencies. The N.C. Sexual Violence Prevention Team, meets every other month and works though the steps of Getting to Outcomes, a systematic planning, implementation, and evaluation process. One of the ultimate tangible outcomes of this project in North Carolina is a five to eight year statewide plan for preventing sexual violence.
CDC works intensively with EMPOWER states within a collaborative learning environment to build the individual capacity of EMPOWER State Capacity Building Teams (SCBT). SCBTs generally consist of the health department or other state agency that administers the RPE program, the sexual assault coalition and the empowerment evaluator. Individual capacity building focuses on:
In addition to individual capacity building, EMPOWER includes a focus on sexual violence prevention system capacity. EMPOWER states helped conceive a system capacity continuum and develop a corresponding measurement tool to assess state sexual violence prevention system capacity. Results of the state assessment will be considered at each step of the planning process culminating in a state plan that includes goals related to increasing prevention system capacity.
- Using public health and prevention frameworks
- Using the principles of empowerment evaluation
- Facilitating a State Prevention Team through the steps of Getting to Outcomes
- Integrating an intersectional analysis into the planning process (i.e., considering how various forms of oppression, such as racism, classism, ableism, homophobia, etc., can influence sexual violence and its prevention).