The Metrics for Healthy Communities toolkit helps you get started planning for and measuring the impact of neighborhood investments on community health and well-being.
The Social Impact Calculator quantifies the monetary social value of community projects.
The Health Impact Project is a national initiative to promote health impact assessments as a decision-making tool for policymakers and planners.
Whether building a child care center or working to improve access to fresh produce, the resources here can help. Whether new to measurement or an advanced user, there are resources here for everyone.
Find more than 150 measures of common action areas that cross multiple sectors. Use these resources to build a logic model for your initiative, get data on community conditions, or simply gain a better understanding of how your activities can lead to better health and economic prosperity.
High-quality, affordable housing provides far more than shelter. In an era of pay-for-performance, gathering information on this impact helps make the case that affordable housing with services helps low-income residents find and sustain viable jobs, gain a solid education, find stable housing, become engaged in the community, and improve their health and wellness.
The set of outcome measures (percent of residents whose income increased, for example) tracks the social impact of SAHF’s rental properties and helps improve services to better meet residents’ needs. Outcome data are collected from resident surveys, property management information, the income recertification process or from national surveys.
The outcomes are currently being tested as part of the Strong Families Fund (SFF) initiative. This 10-year initiative will identify the impact of resident service coordination on resident and property outcomes and aid in identifying new and sustainable funding models to support service coordination in affordable housing properties.
This tool, developed by a hospital-community partnership, helps identify program opportunities and service gaps and sharpens the focus on outcomes that will collectively lead to a healthier community.
The Vita Health and Wellness District in Stamford, CT, is a partnership between Charter Oak Communities, the Stamford Hospital, the West Side community, and the city of Stamford. The initiative is working to integrate health and wellness principles into daily living, while strengthening the community and managing positive change in the neighborhood. By mapping outcomes (such as walkability or economic opportunity) to Vita’s primary initiatives (such as public housing revitalization or job development), the Vita Impact Grid:
The grid helps partners describe programs in terms of impact areas and sharpens the focus on outcomes that will collectively lead to a healthier community. In addition, describing individual programs by their impacts highlights opportunities for collaboration across groups and leverages funding resources. Hospitals preparing or managing Community Benefit responsibilities can also use the grid as a strategic planning tool.
The Mariposa Healthy Living Toolkit helps guide planning, decisions, and actions to improve the important social determinants of health. The tool promotes cross-sector partnerships, encourages a participatory approach to engaging residents and stakeholders, and helps stakeholders identify the best evidence to inform development decisions.
Developed by the Denver Housing Authority and Mithun, Inc., an architectural firm, the Mariposa Healthy Living Toolkit guides the holistic and sustainable redevelopment of the Mariposa District near downtown Denver.
The toolkit identifies six broad determinants of positive health outcomes for successful community redevelopment: 1) healthy housing; 2) sustainable, safe transportation; 3) environmental stewardship; 4) social cohesion; 5) public infrastructure and 6) healthy economy.
The toolkit provides a 5-step User Guide (p. 10-11). But more important, for each of the six determinants the toolkit contains objectives and rationale related to health outcomes, recommended indicators and strategies, and references for additional resources (p. 12-25).
A completed Report Card Template of all six health determinants categories, using details of the Mariposa Project as an example, is on p. 30-33.
A Campaign Checklist Template and guidance on measuring progress are included on p. 35-37.
An interactive online tool, the Sustainable Community Indicator Catalog, a partnership of HUD, DOT, and the EPA, allows you to select an indicator, the scale to measure (county, neighborhood, etc.), and an issue area of concern (access and equity, affordability, etc.). The resulting list guides planners in how and what to measure.
A team of researchers developed the catalog by evaluating more than 100 community indicator initiatives across the United States. The team identified nearly 400 examples of indicators related to the Partnership for Sustainable Community’s “livability principles.”
The site’s catalog includes more than 30 of the most popular and useful indicators in three categories: housing, land use, and transportation. These indicators—at various geographic levels—help measure facets of health, access and equity, affordability, community and sense of place, economic competitiveness, and environmental quality.
Clicking on a specific indicator leads to in-depth information about how it relates to improving communities along with “tip sheets” on topics, including using indicators and performance measurement; publicly available national data sources; and collection and analysis tools. The site also includes case studies and other resources including a description of additional performance measures and data resources.
The Social Impact Calculator, developed by the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), quantifies the monetary social value of community projects. The Calculator, which leverages social science research to translate data into dollar estimates of social benefits, is designed to help communicate the human impact and social value of the projects to broad audiences.
The Health Impact Project is a national initiative designed to promote the use of health impact assessments (HIAs) as a decision-making tool for policymakers. Visit the site in order to analyze data on HIAs and their impact across the country, read the latest news on HIAs, and learn about upcoming events.
Health impact assessments use a flexible, data-driven approach to identify the health consequences of new policies and develop practical strategies to enhance health benefits and minimize adverse effects.
The interactive map and database provides more than 350 examples of HIAs, including for housing, transportation, planning, education, and more. Sort the database by sector, decision-making level, or type of organization leading the HIA. Also find HIA-related resources, such as toolkits, case studies, training materials, and other practitioner experts.
This short video of an HIA conducted in Curry County, Oregon, shows how it helped to promote healthier housing and alleviate the respiratory illnesses, injuries, and other health problems associated with living in poor quality housing.
Success Measures®, an evaluation resource group based at NeighborWorks® America, has developed a new set of measurement tools to help funders and practitioners evaluate and document the health-related outcomes of a wide range of affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization, workforce development, supportive service and community engagement programs.
Success Measures Health Tools are based on literature review, stakeholder engagement, input of advisors representing health care, public health, community development and public policy, and extensive field testing across the country.
The effort yielded 65 new tools that include surveys, interview guides, observation protocols, and templates to collect existing secondary data. While currently requiring a membership fee to fully access, Success Measures is working to make these tools freely available as early as late 2016.
These instruments have been developed for a range of community, cultural and program settings, are applicable across populations from youth to seniors, and are currently available in English and Spanish, with the option to add other languages. The tools fall into four categories: Healthy Food, Community Improvement, Healthy Homes, and Resident Services. Organizations can select individual or groups of tools and use them “off-the-shelf” or easily customize them to more closely align with specific program needs.
In a blog post for the Network, Jessica Mulcahy, a lead researcher at Success Measures, details how assumptions were challenged and practices were changed during the community-based evaluation process. For example, “On how many of the past seven days did you eat breakfast?” How would you answer that question? More important, how would you interpret it? These questions and more represent the issues confronted by the Success Measures researchers.
Learn how a unique investment approach in Boston assigns a HealthScore rating to potential investment projects, based on a set of neighborhood and project screening criteria.
Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund (HNEF) is a $30 million equity investment fund that provides financial resources for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) projects in Massachusetts. The fund identifies neighborhoods showing early signs of gentrification and utilizes private investment to develop affordable housing and other community resources while also providing attractive risk-adjusted returns for investors. HNEF is a partnership of the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation and the Conservation Law Fund.
The Fund’s approach to measuring impact is based on a 2013 Health Impact Assessment (see Executive Summary). Projects seeking an investment from HNEF are evaluated for impact using a weighted index of neighborhood and project-level metrics.
The HealthScore Rating System integrates more than 50 measures of neighborhood demographics, community conditions, health outcomes, and project characteristics. The resulting score (from 0-100) reveals how well the project meets the needs of the neighborhood and captures the opportunity for healthy development. See example: Chelsea Flats
This tool provides data to rank every U.S. county on factors that influence health, from air pollution to obesity and teen births. The rankings standardize and combine measures from several publicly available, national data sources.
The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program helps communities identify and implement solutions that make it easier for people to be healthy in their schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods.
The Action Center shows what we can do to create healthier places to live, learn, work, and play. For example, community development is specifically called out and includes a list of key activities including How to Work Together, Choose Effective Policies and Programs, and Act on What’s Important.
Bringing diverse partners together to address complex health issues is complicated work. Among the resources offered are Community Coaches, who provide customized consultation to local communities that are on their way to addressing factors that influence health.
An introductory webinar gets you started.