Texas Healthy Communities Intervention Design and Implementation

Healthy Communities ComponentsOverview

Take Time to Plan

An organization’s resources must considered to properly design and implement any plan. It is important to take the time to assess, prioritize and then develop a strategic plan and implement a structured strategy. For many this is a one to two year process.

Strategic Plan is Community-Driven

Developing the strategic plan is a collaborative, systemized process that is driven by the findings of the community assessment as prioritized by the coalition. The strategic plan is to meet the needs of the community while maximizing its strengths and preparing for the challenges, and in many cases, involve inviting new partners to join the coalition. Continual involvement of community coalitions and partners promotes cohesiveness, connectedness, and commitment to the selected projects.

Practical Resources

Community Engagement in Public Health: Using the Ladder of Community Participation

Developed by the Contra Costa County Health Services (CCHS), this is a good presentation and article with several good examples of how and why local health departments can enhance their own efforts by using a broad spectrum of strategies to engage the community in the planning and promoting of community health programs and interventions. The ‘ladder’ illustrates seven strategies for engaging communities in public health.




MAPP – Mobilizing Action Planning and Partnerships

A comprehensive tool designed for entire public health systems to leverage community assets through strategic planning. The Framework sections outlines and develops the model (MAPP in a Nutshell and Community Roadmap).



Community Toolbox: Strategies for Community Change and Improvement (Chapter 5)

Developing framework, strategies, action plans, and the intervention are topics found in a tab called ‘Doing the Work.’ The resources are:




Community Toolbox: Developing the Strategic Plan (Chapter 8)

The comprehensive sections of the Community Toolbox are rich with information, examples, presentations, and tools. Good utilization of the Toolbox requires time and resources. However, a review of the sections can provide ideas and allows for modification according to time and resource constraints. Don’t rule out its use because it is complicated.

A good explanation of the Strategic Plan and the Action Plan, with examples of the differences between them, can be found in each of these links respectively.

Section on developing the Strategic Plan: http://ctb.ku.edu/en/tablecontents/sub_section_main_1088.htm

Section on developing the Action Plan: http://ctb.ku.edu/en/tablecontents/sub_section_main_1089.htm

Chapter 8 overview: http://ctb.ku.edu/en/tablecontents/chapter_1007.htm


Healthy Planning Guide

This guide was developed by the Bay Area Regional Health Initiative to help public health departments engage in the planning process and work with planners to develop policies that can create healthier environments and support health equity. It is organized according to key risk factors, highlighting some associated health outcomes and how they relate to the built environment. For each major risk factor, there are suggested policies to consider in the planning process and ways for public health professionals to get involved. There is also a list of public agencies and community partners for potential collaboration on policy solutions.

There is a companion document, the Physical Environment Agency Resource, which provides additional information on public agencies, their structure, and the decision-making process. This information can aid the public health departments in influencing policy solutions to support community health infrastructure and health equity.



Leadership for Healthy Communities (RWJF)

This resource provides a presentation on action strategies and a toolkit for planning community change. Toolkits for planning and designing projects offer guidelines from communities experienced in changing policy, system, and environment.




East Carolina University - Quantifying the Cost of Physical Inactivity

This planning tool allows users to calculate the cost of physical inactivity in a community. This information can be invaluable for writing funding proposals, creating budgets, and planning resource usage.



Community Partnerships for Older Adults

Strategic planning is essential to effective community interventions and outcomes. This website provides a useful guide for strategic planning including definitions, getting started, gathering information, prioritizing, budgeting, planning, and measuring impact. Several tools include assessing internal and external factors, developing strategies, and communicating the strategic plan.

Strategic Planning:


Priorities and Planning Tools:



Ladder of Influence

Strategic planning resources provide access to tools for engaging community partners in communicating and collaborating. For example, Communication Exercise Using the Ladder of Influence and Visioning Exercise for Partnerships are tools that help partners get to know each other, their visions, and their priorities, and move from brainstorming to action. There are many practical tools for generation of ideas, creating budgets, conducting meetings, using research data, and more.



Last updated April 14, 2011