​Principle 2

Employ a community development approach in which residents have equal power in determining the coalition or collaborative's agenda and resource allocation.

Numerous tools exist for assessing and addressing community engagement from Arnstein’s (1969) early “ladder of participation” to the CDC’s Continuum of Community Engagement (2011), to the to the Public Participation Spectrum developed by the International Association for Public Participation. These tools help community groups differentiate token participation from authentic shared decision making.

Other Resources:

Books and Articles:
  • Arnstein, S.R. (1969). A Ladder of Citizen Participation. Journal of the American Institute of Planning, 35(4), 216–24
  • Bell, J. and Cohen, L. (2013), Convergence Partnership. How a Group of Philanthropists Broke the Mold and Unlocked the Power of Collaboration. National Civic Review, 102: 40–42. doi:10.1002/ncr.21152
  • Butterfoss, F.D. (2007). Coalitions and Partnerships for Community Health. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Butterfoss, F.D. (2011).  Community Development. Oxford Bibliographies Online.
  • Butterfoss, F.D. (2013). Ignite: Getting Your Community Coalition Fired Up for Change. Bloomington, IN: Author House.
  • Butterfoss, F.D., Kelly, C.K., Taylor-Fishwick, J. (2005). Health planning that magnifies the community’s voice: Allies Against Asthma. Health Education & Behavior, 32(1), 113-128.
  • Christens, B.D., Inzeo, P.T. (2015). Widening the view: situating collective impact among frameworks for community-led change. Community Development, 46(4), 420–435.
  • Peterson, J.W., LaChance, L.L., Butterfoss, F.D., Houle, C.R., Nichols, E.A., Gilmore, L.A., Lara, M., Friedman, A.R. (2006). Engaging the community in coalition efforts to address childhood asthma. Health Promotion Practice, 7, S56-S65.
  • Wolff, T., Kaye, G. (Eds.). (1995). From the ground up: A workbook on coalition building and community development. Amherst, MA: AHEC/Community Partners.
  • Zakocs, R.C., Edwards, E.M. (2006). What explains community coalition effectiveness? A review of the literature. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 30, 351-361.
  • Zakocs, R.C., Guckenburg, S. (2007). What coalition factors foster community capacity? Lessons learned from the Fighting Back Initiative. Health Education & Behavior, 34, 354-375.
  • Zeldin, S., Christens, B.D., Powers, J.L. (2013). The Psychology and Practice of Youth–Adult Partnership: Bridging Generations for Youth Development and Community Change. American Journal of Community Psychology, 51(3-4), 385–97.

Case Study: Greensboro (North Carolina) Community Health Improvement case study

Equity and Justice require collaboration for effective and lasting improvement. Although much of the research and practice of behavioral science and health promotion occurs at the individual level, adaptation of the strategies and tactics can be successfully applied at the community level when professionals collaborate with the community to facilitate success.

A partnership between a professor and researcher in a public health education department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a professor of social work at the same university, and a pastor of a nearby African American church served as facilitators of a unique partnership among community leaders across multiple community sectors. The collaboration activities included conducting several community-based health summits to identify issues and concerns as well as develop a community agenda for health systems improvement, development of a community grant writing course that engaged graduate students and community-based organizations in program development and technical support, and an advocacy campaign. Impacts across health care systems, food venues, transportation, housing, education and employment were documented. Data from community health assessments, community concerns surveys, and community-level indicators of success were shared among many community members and community based organizations.

An adaptable model for collaboration among universities, funders, health professionals, community based organizations, and faith congregations was developed. This model served to develop community health improvement agendas for a variety of important health and wellness outcomes.

Related resources: