Success Stories Workbook
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Impact and Value: Telling Your
(PDF–586K). Atlanta: Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention
and Health Promotion, Division of Oral Health; 2007.
This workbook can be used by program managers to create success stories
that highlight their program’s achievements. Although its examples are
from state workers in oral health promotion, the methods for collecting
and writing success stories can be applied to any public health program.
Public Health Challenge
Program managers devote significant time and energy to seeking new
partners, funding, and participants for their programs. Their job is to
“sell” their program’s achievements, but sometimes evaluation efforts
are just gearing up and quantifiable outcome data are not yet available.
In other programs, evaluation is at a more mature stage, but program
managers are not prepared to describe their accomplishments succinctly
at chance meetings.
That’s where success stories come in. Short, crisp narratives that don’t
bog down the audience in details can bring the program to life in a way
that more formal evaluation tools can’t. The key is to be ready with a
prepared story at a moment’s notice. Whether program advocates have 10
seconds in an elevator or two pages in a grant application, they should
have a stockpile of stories to draw from. These must be
intentional—collected and written systematically by designated staff and
with a specific audience in mind.
What This Tool Offers
Telling Your Program’s Story describes practical methods for documenting
program achievements, pulling together these details into a coherent
narrative, and using these stories “on the ground” to generate support
for the program. A data collection tool that can be customized by your
program is provided, along with specific examples.
Value: Telling Your Program’s Story
Download the sample data collection tool,
Adobe Acrobat version
Microsoft Word version
Lavinghouze R, Price AW, Smith KA. The program success story: A valuable
tool for program evaluation. Health Promot Pract 2007;(8) 323–331.
View abstract on Pubmed.
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Page last reviewed: October 14, 2009
Page last modified: October 14, 2009
Division of Oral Health,
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and