Measuring RWJF Progress

Health should be a national priority, valued and advanced by collaborators from all sectors. From 2015-2023, RWJF and many other organizations used the concept of a Culture of Health as an organizing principle to catalyze, chart, and measure the nation’s progress toward greater health, wellbeing, and equity and we are committed to assessing our actions to realize those goals. 

About Culture of Health Progress Reports

From 2015 through 2023, the Culture of Health Progress Report assessed the nation’s progress towards achieving improved population health, wellbeing, and health equity. 

Phase Three Findings and Conclusions

Our Phase Three report refined its strategic direction to address structural racism and other barriers to achieving health equity.

  • Report Highlights
    The Phase Three report highlights what has been learned about systems change, particularly as it relates to dismantling structural racism and building health equity.
    Systems work is hard, takes time to do right, and needs the participation and perspectives from many parties, especially the communities most affected by the systems. It also needs clarity in a vision that is shared and understood by all.
    Among the findings is an increasing number of grants are focused on equity and breaking down structural racism. Deeper analysis is needed to understand the overall efficacy, gaps, and points of leverage among grantee work, taken as a whole.
    Incorporating equitable evaluation practices into RWJF evaluations has been a work in progress with increasing attention over recent years particularly in selecting evaluators with specific expertise in equitable evaluation.

  • Methodology

    The study team conducted a synthesis of completed evaluations funded by RWJF. Evaluations were selected using several inclusion criteria and then summarized. The result was an alignment between the evaluations’ outcomes and the evaluations’ Theories of Change. This set of evaluations served as the pool from which the systems change analysis and the case studies of equitable evaluation practice emerged.

  • Recommendations

    The report acknowledged that RWJF has acted swiftly in the last few years to create systems change to promote greater health equity by dismantling structural racism. True systems change will take time. It will require the participation and perspectives of many people, most of all the communities most affected by the systems.

    The report concludes with systems-change advice, including the importance of articulating the Foundation’s vision for change; providing sufficient capacity-building resources and expertise to move levers; identifying and involving champions of health equity efforts; and to reach agreement on clearly articulated measures of success.

    Future evaluations should ensure that the evaluation team has expertise in equitable and culturally responsive evaluation practices.

    • The evaluations should aim to engage throughout the phases of the evaluation process, if possible.
    • Include communities served in a collaborative manner to achieve more equitable evaluation practices.
    • Assess the initiative’s outcomes for the population served.