Mobilizing for Action Through Planning and Partnerships
MOBILIZING FOR ACTION THROUGH PLANNING AND PARTNERSHIPS
To achieve optimal health, each community must use its resources wisely, taking into account its unique circumstances, and must form effective partnerships for taking strategic action. The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), in cooperation with the Public Health Practice Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has developed new guidelines to assist communities in their pursuit of health. This communitywide strategic planning tool for improving health is called MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships).
A work group comprised of local health officials, CDC representatives, community representatives, and academicians developed MAPP between 1997 and 2000. The vision for implementing MAPP is "communities achieving improved health and quality of life by mobilizing partnerships and taking strategic action."
The NACCHO work group built on the lessons learned from a previous planning tool, Assessment Protocol for Excellence in Public Health (APEXPH). Released in 1991, APEXPH has guided hundreds of local health departments through an internal organization capacity assessment and collaborative community health assessment process.
Communities using MAPP go beyond the concepts of APEXPH and other planning tools by focusing on the local public health system—all the entries that contribute to public health in a community. To quote the Institute of Medicine, "the
public health depends on the interaction of many factors; thus, the health of a community is a shared responsibility of many entities, organizations, and interests in the community, including health service delivery organizations, public health agencies, other public and private entities, and the people of a community" (Institute of Medicine Committee on Public Health, 1996).
The focus on the local health system also provides a crucial link with the National Public Health Performance Standards Program (NPHPSP) being developed by CDC, NACCHO, and other national public health organizations. The local-level instrument of the NPHPSP is an integral part of the MAPP assessment of the local public health system.
Another key characteristic of MAPP is its use of broad-based information to determine strategies needed to achieve health in the community. The MAPP process is based on proven strategic planning concepts, but it includes four unique and comprehensive assessments that collectively drive the identification of strategic issues. The four MAPP Assessments (see Figure 1) are:
- Community themes and strengths: identifies themes that interests and engage the community, perceptions about quality of life, and community assets.
- Forces of change: identifies forces that are or will be affecting the community or the local public health system.
- Local public health system: measures the capacity of the local public health system to conduct essential public health services.
- Community health status: assesses data about health status, quality of life, and risk factors in the community.
The MAPP process creates an expectation for an unprecedented union among the community organizations, agencies, groups, and individuals that, taken together, comprise the local public health system. Broad ownership ensures that the effort is sustainable, that actions build on collective wisdom, and that resources from throughout the community contribute to health improvement.
PAUL J. WIESNER
LIZA C. CORSO
Institute of Medicine Committee on Public Health (1996). New Partnerships for the Future of Public Health. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Mays, G. P.; Halverson, P. K.; and Miller, C. A. (1998). "Assessing the Performance of Local Public Health Systems: A Survey of State Health Agency Efforts." Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 4:63–77.
National Association of County and City Health Officials (1991). Assessment Protocol for Excellence in Public Health. Washington, DC: Author.
—— (2000). Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships. Washington, DC: Author.