Cross-Sector Collaboration to Improve Community Health

A family plays together on a community playground.

Collaboration between the health and community development sectors has gained increased attention as a means of accelerating progress to improve community health.

This article offers an empirical perspective on the general status of such collaboration based on results from a national survey of practitioners in the community development and health fields. Study results show that cross-sector efforts to improve health are widespread across the United States.

Community development organizations, including community development financial institutions, support a wide spectrum of activities addressing both social determinants of health and the immediate needs of communities. However, the means of assessing the impacts of these joint community health improvement initiatives appear limited.

These researchers highlight opportunities for building on present momentum and for measuring results in a way that expands the evidence base on effective collaborative efforts between the two sectors.