Our Work

Wellness Evaluation-Community Action Network (WE-CAN!)

The Wellness Evaluation-Community Action Network (WE-CAN) is an initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to establish an open and available network of resources and community-driven data about emotional well-being and resilience in New Orleans. Specifically, WE-CAN seeks to address emotional wellness among youth aged 0–25 as a crucial dimension of resilience in New Orleans by better understanding community wellness and promising ways to improve individual, community and systems interaction for young people in under resourced communities. Since 2014, the WE-CAN project has engaged community partners and stakeholders including youth, parents, and educators, to identify community strengths, community needs, and the contextual and macro-level forces which impact individual and community resiliency. WE-CAN staff developed a white paper on IWES’ unique concept of resiliency. IWES staff facilitated a youth participatory action research (YPAR) project through which 12-15 youth collected data from their peers regarding factors that influence their well-being and produced a podcast about their research. In addition, WE-CAN staff conducted focus groups with parents and educators to understand adult perspectives about youth well-being. Information gathered from the YPAR and the focus groups were used to develop various constructs of youth well-being. In the current phase of WE-CAN, community stakeholders and experts from various sectors that impact community wellness have been recruited to participate in a structured consensus building process through which the constructs will be prioritized. Constructs that are prioritized will be developed into measurable indicators that can be used to monitor youth well-being.  

For more information contact Danielle Broussard.