Measurement can help community development and health practitioners align and optimize their investments and leverage additional resources to achieve shared goals. However, there is no clear guidance for reconciling the established systems for measuring community development activities and outputs—such as housing units built, jobs created, and people served—with the outcomes and impacts of health.
The Network’s executive director Doug Jutte and consultant Joseph Schuchter co-wrote this article in the November 2014 issue of Health Affairs, reviewing community development measurement systems and identifying strategies for using those systems to support health in community development decision making. They highlight promising innovations by organizations such as the Reinvestment Fund and NeighborWorks America and place these in an ecosystem framework to illustrate opportunities for shared measurement. They also discuss policies and processes to build the ecosystem’s infrastructure, balance stakeholders’ priorities within the ecosystem, and use it to drive investments in health.