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Creating Effective Strategies

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Understanding the cause is the first step toward recognizing the solution.


Good strategy serves as a roadmap for effective action. The Institute's strategy tools are designed to assist health leaders and practitioners in thinking broadly about the elements needed to design a robust, comprehensive prevention approach; shape effective initiatives; and create high quality strategies. Communities use these tools to help evaluate where they are in terms of their prevention efforts and to determine how to best customize their strategies to accomplish far-reaching, sustainable outcomes that support health, safety, and equity.
Spectrum of Prevention

SpectrumSpectrum of Prevention is the Institute's signature strategy tool. For over two decades, the Spectrum has been used by government and in community settings to assist health leaders in conceptualizing and developing multifaceted strategies for improving health outcomes. Its unique contribution to strategic planning efforts is its tiered framework for exploring and identifying opportunities to create comprehensive change within organizations, institutions, and in the political sphere. Using the Spectrum, groups are able to position existing efforts within a broader societal context and examine the types of work that will stimulate long-term sustainable improvements. The Spectrum is comprised of six levels of increasing scope, beginning with a focus on the individual and family and ending with institutional practices and policy. The levels are complementary, and when used together, they produce synergistic results that encourage positive change that is both broad and deep.

THRIVE: Tool for Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments
THRIVEtoolTHRIVE helps community members identify, evaluate, and prioritize key factors within their localities that can augment health and safety and strengthen community resilience. Its application in vulnerable communities makes it a valuable tool for accomplishing health equity. THRIVE details how each key factor relates to health and safety outcomes, and it offers effective ways to address these elements within varying contexts. It also suggests related resources for further consideration.

Making the Case for Prevention through Media Advocacy
Our toolkits provide a compilation of tips and talking points for making the case for community prevention, based on Prevention Institute's daily analysis of how the media is (and isn't) framing community prevention. Using this information, you can expand and shift the frame of how the media depicts community prevention, to ensure that the whole picture is shown and that community prevention is framed accurately and comprehensively.

Evolution to Effective Prevention Diagnostic Scale
Our diagnostic scale helps organizations, communities, and collaboratives assess the progress of their prevention efforts and prioritize program elements. This tool can be used as an ongoing resource to help identify strengths and weaknesses of strategy and to increase the scope and effectiveness of prevention work.

Community Prevention Readiness Self-Assessment Tool
Prevention Institute's Community Prevention Readiness Self-Assessment is a tool that allows groups to be proactive and conduct a candid evaluation of their current capacity to engage in environmental change. Key elements of the assessment include: taking a comprehensive approach, building a strong collaboration, fostering strong interdisciplinary partnerships, identifying core leadership, advancing health equity, and building capacity among staff and partners.

Prevention Playing Cards

PIplayingcardProponents of community health are constantly being asked to make the case, for example, for increasing access to safe parks, improving air quality, or opening a farmers market. Our Prevention Playing Cards are frameworks, images, and quotes to help increase your understanding of prevention, community health, and health equity-and prepare you to articulate a primary prevention approach when talking with friends and coworkers, or presenting before community leaders and policy makers.