The Community Tool Box

    • June 20, 2011

Field of Work: Promoting community health and development

Problem Synopsis: When the project began in 1996, knowledge about community-based efforts in substance abuse, AIDS prevention, teen pregnancy, youth violence, rural health and other issues relevant to RWJF goals was primarily dispersed through many journals and networks.

Researchers and staff from the University of Kansas’ Work Group for Community Health and Development developed a Community Tool Box to help bring this knowledge base together, but with no World Wide Web, community organizers had to carry it from meeting to meeting. Soon there were too many resources and too much information to carry around.

Synopsis of the Work: The Web-based Community Tool Box is a free resource with the promoting community health and development by connecting people, ideas and resources. Available in English and Spanish, the Community Tool Box contains more than 7,000 pages of free how-to guidance, toolkits, a troubleshooting guide and evidence-based practices for building healthy communities.

Key Results

The number of people who use the Community Tool Box has continued to grow. Traffic on the Web site increased from more than 100,000 page views in 1997 to nearly 1.4 million page views from July 1, 2008 to July 1, 2009, for both the English and Spanish versions. Over the same time period, the toolbox had 240,626 visits (more than 163,000 unique visitors) from 213 countries.

The content of the Community Tool Box has also continued to grow, including the number of How-to sections from 40 in 1997 to more than 300 in July 2009, and the number of pages of content from 4,000 in 1998 to 7,000, in both English and Spanish, in July 2009.