Step 3: Explore Approaches

You have looked at the data and examined the multi-level drivers of health outcomes related to your health issue of interest within your community. You have formed a network of like-minded individuals to work alongside you. What's next?

It's time to explore different ways to reach your target population.

The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) is a free resource provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Community Guide web site offers reviews of different approaches* you can use to impact a population's health. It also tells you which approaches have been most effective.

* An approach is a generalized strategy used to tackle particular health issues. For example, you might think about creating change using one or a combination of the following strategies:

  • mass media,
  • community-based education,
  • provider-based education, or
  • school-based programs.
All of the approaches listed in The Community Guide have been systematically reviewed [definition] by a national task force [definition]. Use the approaches on this site to begin thinking about what might or might not work in your own community. By identifying the approaches that might be appropriate for your organization and community, you can more effectively narrow down and select an appropriate evidence-based program (Step 4a). 

Select Resources

Use the links below to find approaches reviewed by The Community Guide. For a list of additional websites that review approaches, click here.

The Community Guide

Use The Guide to Community Preventive Services.

Community Guide Home Page

The Guide to Community Preventive Services is a free resource to help you choose programs and policies to improve health and prevent disease in your community.

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Health Topics

Find information on specific topics within The Guide to Community Preventive Services.

Remember, all of the approaches listed here have been systematically reviewed by a national task force. Use these approaches to start thinking about what might or might not work in your own community.

Adolescent Health



Birth Defects



HIV/AIDS, STIs, and Pregnancy

Health Communication & Social Marketing

Mental Health

Motor Vehicle-related Injury Prevention



Oral Health

Physical Activity

Promoting Health Equity

Social and Environmental




Worksite Health Promotion

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