The Roadmaps to Health Action Center lays out a series of steps for creating healthy communities. Explore each of the seven steps below to find guidance and tools for taking action.
Communities vary widely, and as a result, efforts to improve health will also vary. In the midst of all this variety is one constant: people working together. With a shared vision and commitment to improved health, working together can yield better results than working alone.
We want to include partners from all sectors to improve health, so how do we invite people to be part of our team when we don’t know them?
How do we build trust?
How do we move to action?
Assess Needs & Resources
One of your first steps in improving your community is to take stock. What challenges do you face? What strengths, assets, and resources do you have to help you face your challenges? Are there some who face challenges that others do not?
Once you’ve accounted for your community’s needs and resources, it’s time to decide which problem(s) to tackle. Without focus, all issues seem equally important. Taking time to set priorities will ensure that you direct your community’s valuable and limited resources to the most important issues.
Should we always pick the strategy that has the most evidence?
What about innovative approaches?
Act on What's Important
Once you’ve decided what you want to do, the next step is to make it happen. Since there are no “one size fits all” blueprints for success, communities build on strengths, leverage available resources, and respond to unique needs.
What does it take to move from planning to action?
How do we create political will for our leaders to adopt new approaches?
How do we support our strategies?
Evaluating your efforts is an important and ongoing part of improving your community’s health. Evaluation helps you know if what you’re doing is working the way you intended and achieving the results you desire.
How can we demonstrate progress in the short term?
Effective and continuous communication is essential for your efforts to be successful. It’s important to consider how you will get your most important messages to the people who matter – both internally (how will you and your partners communicate with each other?) and externally (how will you communicate with others in your community?).
How do we keep everyone who is working on our strategies up to date and in the loop?
How do we share our story so that others are inspired to improve health?
Maximize your chances of success by choosing policies and programs that have been shown to work in real life and that are a good fit for your community. Our What Works for Health database provides evidence summaries and ratings for policies, programs, and systems changes that can improve health. A sampling of them is included below.
Use victim-offender dialogue to address the harm caused by a crime and victims’ needs; can take place pre-arrest or post sentence via sharing circles, victim-offender mediation, or face-to-face conferences