Activating communities for health promotion: a process evaluation method

Am J Public Health. 1993 Apr;83(4):561-7. doi: 10.2105/ajph.83.4.561.


Objectives: To date, evaluations of community-based prevention programs have focused on assessing outcomes, not the process of organizing communities for health promotion. An approach was developed to analyze community organization efforts aimed at advancing community health objectives. These organizational processes are referred to as community activation.

Methods: Information was gathered from 762 informants through a key informant survey conducted in 28 western communities. The data collected included informant ratings of community activation and information about interorganizational activities analyzed through network analytic techniques.

Results: Activation levels, as measured by informant ratings, varied across communities. Program coordination, as measured by network analysis, occurred, on average, approximately 30% of the time. Higher income communities tended to be more activated than lower income communities.

Conclusions: There is a widely recognized need for improved information about health-related community organization activities. It appears possible to gather such information through key informant surveys and to develop measures of community organization status that can be used in the evaluation of community health promotion programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Participation*
  • Data Collection
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration
  • Health Promotion / standards*
  • Health Services Research / methods
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Models, Organizational
  • Northwestern United States
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Preventive Health Services / organization & administration
  • Preventive Health Services / standards*
  • Southwestern United States