The National Networks of Public Health Institutes, through its Cooperative Agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Community Health, contracted with partner agencies to document the landscape of local policy databases that support healthy communities and recommend options for the potential development of a future national database.
In partnership with Texas Health Institute, Mississippi Public Health Institute, and MSF&W Software & Consulting, the Illinois Public Health Institute led the development and execution of a multi-method information gathering approach that included key informant interviews with subject matter experts, online assessments, and a website and document review. This data collection confirmed a lack of any comprehensive national-level database containing local, healthy community policies and proposed conditions under which such a system might be created. While the definition of healthy communities is evolving, most current policy databases do not reflect the increasing interest in quantitative analysis and policy impact, or the increasing emphasis on public health systems and social determinants of health.
The recommendations include creating a forum and process for establishing standards and common criteria for policy databases, and leveraging desirable features of existing databases and tools. While existing databases might be leveraged for future replication, the current interests of practitioners and researchers may require the creation of new models. A framework for evaluating these options is proposed.
View the full Local Policy Database Scan final report for key findings and recommendations.