Growing evidence connects community power in policy development to policy efficacy, including improvement of health outcomes. Measuring and evaluating power-sharing efforts can be done by documenting the influence that community participation opportunities have had on the policymaking process and by honoring the value that community partners are bringing to the work.
Measure “sharing power” by . . .
- Documenting how community participation has influenced policy development, recording when, how, or how often . . .
- Decisions about policy planning and implementation are made by (or delegated to) community partners (e.g., via committee, consensus, deliberation sessions)
- Approval opportunities are allocated to or shared with community partners prior to final decision making
- Guidance or leadership from community partners has changed or shaped the outcome of a policy plan, draft, implementation, or other aspect of the process
- Opportunities for substantive community input are provided, throughout the policy process
- Identifying and reflecting the value that community partners (residents, community-based organizations, and other community-connected institutions) bring to the work by, for example,
- Contracting with or otherwise funding community partners to perform various aspects of the policymaking process (e.g., gathering or sharing of assessment data, issue prioritization and selection, implementation responsibilities, or evaluation)
- Supporting funding efforts and outreach for community partners who are connected to the policy issue or policy process
- Hiring staff for policy planning and implementation who share a geographic area, population group or identifiers, or lived experiences with people whose lives are most affected by the policy issue
- Compensating community members involved in the policy process for their time (while considering whether or how doing so may affect public benefit eligibility)
- Providing stipends, reimbursement, or other forms of compensation for participating community partners’ needs related to, for example, transportation, child or adult care services, or meals
Key Resources on Sharing Power
- Tamber PS, A Model Linking Community Engagement, Health Improvement and Community Power
- Urban Institute, Changing Power Dynamics Among Researchers, Local Governments, and Community Members: A Community Engagement and Racial Equity Guidebook
- Caloca K, Schnaidt V, To Build Shared Vision in Communities, Trust Them to Lead, Nonprofit Quarterly, May 23, 2023
- Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, US Department of Health and Human Services, Elevating Family Input in TANF and Child Support Programs: Resources for Program Staff, Leaders, and Families
Explore the Metrics
This list of sample metrics is one of several in our web tool Policy Process Evaluation for Equity, a collection intended to inspire conversation and new considerations among changemakers who are developing evaluation provisions and plans in policies to promote health equity. Each list highlights the importance of deepening our community partnerships, our use of data, and the way we communicate about our work throughout the policy process.
Explore other metrics for measuring the community impacts of policy partnership below. A downloadable version of this tool is also available for offline use and sharing.