County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, A Healthier Nation, County by County

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The County Health Rankings model of population health

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Explore guides and tools for improving health.

What Works for Health

Explore programs and policies that work!

What can I learn from others?


Key findings from the last four years of County Health Rankings and other national reports.

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Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

Consider your stakeholders

Often when we think of the political environment, we think of key decision makers. They’re important, but it’s equally important to consider all stakeholder groups. Stakeholders are people who care about your issue –not just supporters. It’s helpful to brainstorm three types of stakeholders:

  • The public. All those with vested interests. This might include citizens, advocacy groups, non-profit agencies, and businesses.
  • Specific political stakeholders. Those who have the power to give you what you want. This might include elected and appointed officials or lobbying groups.
  • Implementers. Those tasked with making the strategy work. This might include administrators or employees. This is an important group – a strategy only works if it’s implemented or enforced.

For each group of stakeholders, consider:

  • Why do they care about this issue?
  • Who gains from the strategy? Who loses?
  • Would they support, oppose, or be neutral to your policy or program?
  • Who are the key decision makers for your policy? How do they feel about the strategy? Can you influence them? (Hint: What Works for Health strategies include potential Decisions Makers on the left navigation menu.)
  • What information do you know about stakeholders? What do you need to know?
  • Who can influence the decision maker? How do they feel about the strategy? We like the Sphere of Influence tool to help you quickly brainstorm who can influence key decision makers.

You can read more about understanding power and influence in the Identify key decision makers, allies, and opponents key activity in our Act on What’s Important step.

Read more about power and influence in our Act on What’s Important step.

Partnership. Is the proposed strategy consistent with your mission and priorities? Have you attempted a similar strategy in the past? If so, what was the outcome? What were the challenges?