Collaborative Research Initiative

NOTE: This study has ended.

In 1993, the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) and Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) AIDS Task Force, a consortium of philanthropic organizations, developed a joint project soliciting proposals from community based agencies for evaluable HIV/AIDS prevention projects. The prevention goal of this project, the CAPS/NCG HIV Prevention Initiative, is to support activities which target those at highest risk who have not been effectively reached through existing efforts to change high-risk behaviors. In short, the program is a collaboration between service providers, funders, and academics which seeks to pilot novel prevention programs, evaluate their success, and disseminate the results so that effective programs can be replicated, and ineffective programs can be modified. The research questions are community generated, scientist modified, and private-sector funded.

The eleven community based agencies which were awarded the grants have gone through an extensive process to reach the award stage. Fifty three agencies submitted Letters of Intent on July 1, 1993. Of those, nineteen were invited to complete a full application and as part of the application process, to attend a 4-day workshop, “Evaluating Behavior Change Efforts” conducted by CAPS faculty. During the course, CBO staff revised, critiqued, and finally drafted full research proposals. Evaluations of the course have been very positive, and the community’s desire for technical assistance on evaluation research is one of the strong take-home messages thus far. Fourteen agencies ultimately submitted full proposals for consideration, and 11 were awarded grants. These agencies represent five Bay Area counties and target in- and out-of-school youth, gay men, incarcerated men, immigrant women, gay men of color, and recovering substance abusers. The grant year will run from January 1994 through December 1994 and with anticipated renewed funding for one additional year.

In this collaboration, NCG provides to $50,000 per agency, per year for prevention programs, CAPS and NCG provide up to $10,000 in evaluation funds per agency, and CAPS provides at least one scientist per agency for technical support and guidance. CAPS also conducts monthly technical assistance and process forums and will be providing data entry, data analysis, and statistical support for the projects. The community based agencies (CBOs) are responsible for providing the funded service and conducting the evaluation.

The importance of this project is three-fold: it pilots a model of collaboration between service providers, academics, and private funders which can lead to more and better relationships between these three groups and facilitate understanding about each other’s culture; it can answer real- world questions about effective HIV/AIDS prevention activities; and ultimately it will disseminate these evaluation findings to help improve the public policy environment in which prevention-related funding and programmatic decisions are made.

Collaborating Agencies

Coalition of Immigrant & Refugee Rights & Services (CIRRS)

  • Impact of Mujeres Unidas y Activas on HIV risk behaviors among Latina immigrant women.

East Bay Community Recovery Project

  • Impact of improvisational theater as a method for HIV/Prevention among substance abusers in recovery in Alameda County.

Face To Face/Sonoma County AIDS Network

  • Peer-led street outreach to high-risk youth and their parents in two neighborhoods of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County.

La Clinica de la Raza-Fruitvale Health Project, Inc.

  • Multi-lingual peer education program for school-based Latino youth and their parents in Oakland.

Centerforce, Health Programs Division (formerly a part of Marin AIDS Project)

  • Peer-led HIV/AIDS education to inmates at San Quentin prison at entrance and, for a subset, prior to release.

Mid-Peninsula YWCA

  • Breakin’ Down Sexual Scripts: Empowering Youth in HIV Prevention Education.

National Task Force on AIDS Prevention

  • Impact of intensive community outreach and prevention intervention with Black gay, bisexual and transgender men in San Francisco.

New Conservatory Theater

  • Mark, a teen with AIDS, tells his friend to protect herself and her loved ones from HIV in the play “The Inner Circle.”


  • Modification of STOP AIDS meetings for gay men in pre-existing groups.

Tri-City Health Centers

Lenie Garcy, a peer outreach educator, explains how to use the female condom during a Safer Sex Education Workshop.

Huckleberry Youth Programs (formerly Youth Advocates, Inc.)

  • Impact of a ten-session prevention intervention for high-risk youth in San Francisco.


The Ford Foundation has funded an evaluation of the Initiative’s three-way collaboration. The firm of Harder Kibbe has been contracted to determine whether or not the Initiative results in changes in prevention programs, prevention research priorities, funding priorities, and CBO program evaluation capabilities.

In addition, CAPS conducted the Legacy Project, Lessons Learned About Conducting Community-Based Research.

Last modified: October 22, 2012