Thursday, December 13, 2007

Grant Crap

So, it probably sounds like I'm making a big deal out of nothing with this grant I'm writing, but the truth is it's a bear.

Grants in general suck. But this is not only writing a grant, it's more like a technical paper for publish in a peer-reviewed journal. I'm designing a public health intervention program, using all sorts of high-falutin' metrics that I hadn't really ever worked with before, AND there's the extra pressure that there are a lot of applicants.

Blah blah blah BDI Logic Models!

It's a (state) government grant*. That means hoops and hoops and hoops to jump in and out of. Do it this way, not that. Margins of .5 inches if you mention the word sex, but otherwise margins of .754 inches. Fourteen letters of support and/or specific commitment. You write them, others sign them, you track them down, and you deal with the people who don't dare say the word "pregnancy" for fear of making it seem like their organization dares to stand up against teen pregnancy! God forbid people think we want our kids getting access to information about abstinence, contraception, risk reduction, and how to say no when they don't want to do something! You have to rely on the contacts you brought from another county to get the letters of support from the Latino community, because you still haven't really gotten to know people yet here! ARGH!

I've got most of the program plan. I've got most of the evaluation piece done. I'm still freaking about the freaking stupid needs assessment part. There are lots of Latinos in the US! There are lots in NC! More than ever! There are lots in the county where I work! It's a really populous county! The teen pregnancy rate in the US is horrible! Over 50% of Latina teens get pregnant at least once before they turn 20! Current teen pregnancy prevention interventions aren't working as well in the Latino population! Teens are thinking "Dont have babies now" means "babies are BAD! We EAT BABIES!**" The teen pregnancy rate in Latinas in NC are even worse than the overall US rate, and in this county, almost 20% of 15-19 year olds got pregnant last year! That's WAY worse than in other counties! So we're among the worst (county level) of the worst (state level) of the horrible (US level)! Latina girls date older men! That's a risk factor! Despite being less sexually active than other teens, both boys and girls in the Latino community are less likely to use contraception/condoms! That's a risk factor we can actually change! There are protective factors, too! More Latino teens live with two biological parents than other groups! Latinos have a higher rate of religious affiliation! This county's teen pregnancy rate among Latinos is just horrendous! It's over four times the overall rate in this county! No, really! We can help with this! We'd use a culturally-appropriate approach and frame abstinence, condom use, contraception and other messages in such a way as to be more palatable!

OK thanks. I think typing this out has helped my thought process; that was my intent. I have until tomorrow to get this done. I'm just not sure what to write, still. Do I cite the fact sheets where I'm getting the stats, or do I cite the original articles that the fact sheets cite, even though I've not read them? I'm thinking the former, because I did the latter for my freaking thesis, and despite my stress, this is NO THESIS.

*Our state is more enlightened than our country; this grant requires comprehensive sex ed be a part of it; i.e. no talking just about abstinence!
**They don't think we're saying "We Eat Babies." They do think we're saying "don't have babies, ever." See?