Evaluation designs assessing community coalitions must balance measures of how coalitions do their work and evidence that the coalitions are making a difference. The Allies cross-site evaluation attempts to determine the combined effects of the seven coalitions' work at the individual, organizational, and community levels. Principal components considered are (a) contextual factors of the coalition community, (b) coalition processes and structure, (c) planning and planning products, (d) implementation actions, (e) activities and collaborations, (f) anticipated intermediate outcomes, and (g) expected asthma related health outcomes. Measurements are quantitative and qualitative, and data generated by these methods are used as ends in themselves and as a way to confirm or inform other measures. Evaluation has been an integral part of the planning and implementation phases of the Allies coalition work, with a priority of involving all of the partners in conceiving of and deciding upon the elements of assessment.