Articles & Publications

On the Path to Health Equity: Building Capacity to Measure Health Outcomes in Community Development

Jessica Mulcahy, Maggie Grieve, Stephany DeSiscolo, Lindsay Eilers, Bethany Boland, Margaret Scott

NeighborWorks America, 2019

This new report by Enterprise Community Partners and NeighborWorks America shows how an innovative pilot program – the Health Outcomes Demonstration Project – equipped 20 affordable housing and community development organizations to evaluate the health outcomes across a range of programs. The evaluated programs include neighborhood improvement and community safety initiatives, youth education and services, housing improvement, service coordination for residents in crisis, as well as housing-based services that focus on nutrition, physical activity, financial literacy, social activities, mental health and employment.

The project, jointly developed and implemented by Enterprise and Success Measures at NeighborWorks America, deployed an innovative set of health outcome measurement tools, alongside technical assistance, peer learning opportunities and grant resources to foster organizational learning and expand the evaluation capacity of participating organizations. By the end of the project, the organizations had acquired the language, evaluation tools and evidence needed to connect their work with health outcomes. As a result, they are now equipped to engage in deeper partnerships with the health sector, bringing their expertise, evidence base and solutions to strategically address the root causes of persistent health disparities. As the report title highlights, this project provided an important step forward on the path to health equity.