New National Evaluation of Health Outcomes
More and more, housing and community development organizations have come to recognize the direct impact of their work on the health of the residents and communities they serve as they address the systemic, community-based challenges that contribute to health disparities. However, measuring and documenting their impact has continued to be a challenge for practitioners. To address this critical gap, NeighborWorks America and Enterprise Community Partners jointly implemented an innovative national initiative.
The Health Outcomes Demonstration Project supported 20 nonprofits, including 10 NeighborWorks network organizations, to measure the health outcomes of a range of programs, including affordable housing, senior services, neighborhood improvement initiatives and financial capability services, and better serve the low- and moderate-income communities where they work. The multi-year project provided the participating organizations with technical assistance, $45,000 in grant funds, peer learning opportunities at three in-person convenings and the Success Measures Health Tools to support their evaluation efforts. The groups also had a subscription to the web-based Success Measures Data System which enabled them to measure and document health outcomes using the health tools online.
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. The results of the demonstration project are reflected in the newly-released report, "On the Path to Health Equity: Building Capacity to Measure Health Outcomes in Community Development". As the report title highlights, this project provided an important step forward on the path to health equity.
The Health Outcomes Demonstration Project is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The Hearst Foundation, Inc., NeighborWorks America, Enterprise Community Partners. the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and by in-kind support from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.