Tools for Community Action
On this page
The Guide to Community Preventive Services is a credible resource for evidence-based recommendations and findings on interventions and policies that improve health and prevent disease in communities. A user can conduct a search on various topics, such as nutrition, obesity, physical activity, tobacco, and diabetes. Also, the Community Guide provides information on policies, programs or services, funding, research, and education.
Search or browse through the Community Health Resources Database to plan, implement, and evaluate community health interventions and programs that address chronic diseases. Developed by CDC’s Community Health and Program Services Branch, the database includes links to hundreds of useful planning guides, evaluation frameworks, communications materials, health risk factors data and statistics, fact sheets, scientific articles, key reports, and state and local program contact information.
This action guide contains eight action steps to complete the CHANGE tool. CHANGE is a data-collection tool that provides community leaders with a snapshot of local policy, systems, and environmental change strategies currently in place and helps to identify areas for improvement. With this data, communities can map out a course for health improvement by creating strategies to make positive and sustainable changes in their communities.
To learn more about the CHANGE tool and its benefits, visit the CHANGE page . The CHANGE Tool Action Guide, CHANGE Tool files, and supplemental materials can be downloaded by visiting the CHANGE download page.
The series of reports focus on health communication with various audiences and marketing practices to guide communities with the implementation of environmental change strategies to support healthy lifestyles. Research is compiled from expert interviews, marketing and communication science in books and articles, Internet, and CDC-licensed consumer databases.
- Cultural Insights – Communication with Hispanic/Latinos [PDF–431KB]
- Key Concepts of Evaluation - Applying Theory in the Evaluation of Communication Campaigns [PDF–236KB]
- Key Concepts of Evaluation – What is it and how do you do it? [PDF–307KB]
- Social Marketing on a Dime – Using Social Media to Do More with Less [PDF–271KB]
Working with Schools to Increase Physical Activity Among Children and Adolescents in Physical Education Classes [PDF–1.8M]
This action guide, developed by Partnership for Prevention, provides information on the resources and key steps to work with schools to increase physical activity among children and adolescents in physical education classes. It translates a specific recommendation from The Guide to Community Preventive Services into “how to” guidance. Physical education (PE) classes can be enhanced through policy, systems, and environmental changes that address curricula, teaching practices, and facilities/equipment to increase levels of physical activity and improve physical fitness. PE classes are important in helping students develop the knowledge, attitudes, motor and behavioral skills, and confidence to adopt and maintain physically active lifestyles. The childhood overweight epidemic is helping to shift the focus of PE classes from traditional sports toward health and physical activity, particularly moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.
Facilitating Development of a Community Trail and Promoting Its Use to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth and Adults [PDF–2M]
This action guide, developed by Partnership for Prevention, provides information on the resources and key steps that will help facilitate the development of a community trail and promote its use among youth and adults. It translates a specific recommendation from The Guide to Community Preventive Services into “how to” guidance. Modifying the environments where people live and work is effective in helping people incorporate healthier behaviors into their daily lives. This can be done by creating new places for physical activity or enhancing access to existing places. Equally important, informational outreach activities promote the use of these places by raising awareness of their existence or providing guidance on how to use them. Although there are many options for modifying the environment to allow for increased physical activity, community trails have a unique advantage in that they can accommodate different types of physical activity by people of all ages.
Working with Healthcare Delivery Systems to Improve the Delivery of Tobacco-Use Treatment to Patients [PDF–1.6M]
This action guide, developed by Partnership for Prevention, provides information on the resources and key steps to work with health care delivery systems to improve the delivery of tobacco-use treatment to patients. It translates a specific recommendation from The Guide to Community Preventive Services into “how to” guidance. Tobacco-use screening and brief intervention is ranked among the most effective clinical preventive services. Strategies that create systems in health care settings are successful in helping improve the delivery of this service. One such strategy involves creating a system that prompts health care providers to identify tobacco-using patients and to advise those patients against tobacco use at every visit. Health care providers are educated on how to treat patients who use tobacco and patients receive materials to educate and motivate them to quit and remain abstinent.
Promoting Health Equity: A Resource to Help Communities Address Social Determinants of Health [PDF–1.5M]
This action guide is for public health practitioners and partners interested in developing interventions to increase health equity in their communities. The guide reflects the views of experts from multiple arenas, including local community leadership, public health, medicine, social work, sociology, psychology, urban planning, community economic development, environmental sciences, and housing. Promoting Health Equity builds on existing resources, provides additional information and tools, and highlights lessons learned by communities in their efforts to develop, implement, and evaluate local interventions that address social determinants of health equity.
This action guide is designed to assist communities with developing effective working relationships with the media and gaining valuable news coverage for health-related issues. Topic sections include instructions, tips, and templates for writing press releases, media advisories, and other media-related materials; methods for monitoring media coverage; and strategies for placing public service announcements and hosting press conferences.
The CDC's Social Media Toolkit is designed to help you get started in social media by providing information for developing governance for social media, determining which channels will best meet your communication objectives, and helping you create a social media strategy.
CDC’s MMWR report "Recommended Community Strategies and Measurements to Prevent Obesity in the United States" contains 24 recommended obesity prevention strategies focusing on environmental- and policy-level changes that can be implemented by local governments and school districts to promote healthy eating and active living. A detailed Implementation and Measurement Guide[PDF–2.6M] was developed by the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity to assist local governments, states, and policy makers with implementing these obesity prevention strategies and reporting on the associated measurements. The guide includes measurement data protocols, a listing of useful resources, and examples of communities that successfully implemented each obesity prevention strategy.
YMCA of the USA's (Y-USA) Making the Case To Stakeholders: Linking Policy and Environmental Strategies to Health Outcomes is a guide based on scientific evidence that demonstrates how certain strategies can lead to specific short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes. Y-USA and Stanford University's Health Improvement Program at the Stanford Prevention Research Center created the guide to demonstrate the connection that can be made between policy and environmental strategies and long-term health outcomes. This guide can be an informative tool for communities to help educate stakeholders (including partners and the public) about how healthy living strategies can improve health outcomes.
Fourteen Implementation Guides were developed by CDC's Strategic Alliance for Health communities, and can be downloaded to assist other communities in replicating specific evidence- and practice-based interventions that reduce the burden of chronic disease and create policy, systems, or environmental changes, such as increasing access to healthy foods and beverages in schools. Each Implementation Guide offers key lessons learned and step-by-step guidance for planning, evaluating, and sustaining policy, systems, and environmental change strategies. To learn more or to access an implementation guide, visit the Strategic Alliance for Health page.
Get email updates
To receive email updates about this page, enter your email address:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Division of Community Health
4770 Buford Highway, NE
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
TTY: (888) 232-6348
- Contact CDC-INFO