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The CDC Policy Process

Stakeholder Engagement and Education Wheel

Public health is concerned with protecting the health of communities and entire populations. Whether as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country, policy is one potentially effective way to improve the health of populations.

The CDC policy process includes five domains that often overlap or occur in a different order. However, in an ideal scenario, a problem is defined, potential policy solutions are identified, analyzed, and prioritized, and the best solution is adopted and evaluated.

Public health professionals play an important role in the policy process. CDC grantees and public health partners may find this document useful. We have included the potential role of public health for each of the domains as examples.


"Policy" is defined as a law, regulation, procedure, administrative action, incentive, or voluntary practice of governments and other institutions.

Domain Descriptions

Overarching Domain

The following activities should be considered throughout each of the five domains.

* Examples provided for clarification only. They are not intended to list all of the roles public health can play. Federal law prohibits lobbying related activities by CDC at the federal, state and local level. There may be other restrictions on lobbying related activities of which public health professionals should be aware.