Technical Assistance for Environmental and Policy Change

The Active Living by Design Experience

Active Living by Design (ALbD) grantees received $200,000 over five years starting in 2003 to support comprehensive initiatives to increase routine physical activity in 25 communities across the nation. This reflected the intent of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to test a “high touch/low dollar” approach to technical assistance in order to enhance local capacity and sustain community change. The hypothesis was that this approach would promote shared investment in the program initiatives, the leadership required to sustain them, and the growth of a national movement.

As such, it was imperative that the provision of technical assistance be collaborative, customized, strategic, and focused on the achievement of local objectives, as well as on the needs of a broader, emerging national movement. The result was a pioneering model that supported the unique needs of grantees, created a robust peer learning network, and helped build the field of active living.