Broadly defined, a coalition is an alliance for combined action working towards the same goal. Coalitions can be formal or informal, can be focused on a big mission goal or a smaller, specific policy or programmatic goal, and can be called by many different names: collaborative, partnership, alliance, and so on. Regardless of the name, we know that the work coalitions do is vital to not only their community but for public health improvement overall. Because of this, all of us at the Community Health Training Institute are dedicated to building the skills of coalitions to increase their capacity to do the great work they are already doing. We hope you find these resources helpful.
The Coalition Roster Project was started in June 2015 as a joint initiative between The Community Health Training Institute and the MA Department of Public Health to better serve coalitions across the state. We are working to build a network of MA coalitions to increase access to resources, training, and peer-to-peer support. It is the only searchable database of coalitions in the state, and the more people we engage in it, the better our database becomes. This roster is not a definitive list; its accuracy is determined by coalitions' efforts to verify, add, and update their own organizational profiles.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health Coalition Engagement Principles and Guidelines
Community collaboration and engagement is critically important to the work of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), particularly in light of the national accreditation process and standards that require health departments to engage the community in virtually all of its work. MDPH engages in a variety of ways with communities, including coalitions, task forces, advisory committees, and more. This document is intended to provide guidance specifically on coalitions.
Developing Effective Coalitions: An Eight Step Guide
From the Prevention Institute: The Eight Steps to Effective Coalition Building is a framework for engaging individuals, organizations and governmental partners in addressing community concerns. The complete document offers concrete steps towards building effective partnerships, and provides tips for making collaborations and partnerships work. Rather than creating new projects or programs, effective coalitions can harness existing resources to develop a unique community approach and achieve results beyond the scope of one single institution or organization.
The Community Toolbox
From the University of Kansas: The Community Tool Box is a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. It offers thousands of pages of tips and tools for taking action in communities. Want to learn about community assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, advocacy, and other aspects of community practice? Then help yourself to over 300 educational modules and other free tools. Under continuous development since 1994, the Community Tool Box is widely used in teaching, training, and technical support.
Watch Our Webinar! How To Identify Multi-Sector Partners
The most effective community health collaborations and coalitions are built upon a common agenda shared by diverse sectors (e.g., healthcare, planning, housing, transportation, business, and other non-traditional partners). This webinar presents an overview of the various levels of engagement and specific strategies to engage partners at each level.