Over the past decade, scientific evidence linking community conditions to health outcomes has grown exponentially. With this growing body of evidence, data on community conditions and health outcomes has also increased and become more publicly available. With support from the Health Impact Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Healthy and Equitable Community Investment work group, led by the Conservation Law Foundation, published these recommendations for how the growing ecosystem of tools, approaches, and data sources should support community investment’s impact on health and equity in communities. Through the work group’s collaboration and convening of leaders in the field of measuring community investment, we found:
- The Social Determinants of Health are a strong framework for measuring the health impact of community investment.
- We need to distinguish between the social determinants of health and social needs to ensure that we are setting appropriate goals for any given investment.
- Despite an abundance of existing tools, data sets, and frameworks, it is still complicated to measure impact over time.
- Power inequity is the root of all inequity, and we must ensure that interventions that promote equity include empowerment as a process and that interventions measure power as an outcome.