Program planning

If you are planning or running health programs in community or faith-based settings, the PLANET MassCONECT program can help. 

PLANET MassCONECT offers a step-by-step approach to find evidence-based programs that help you improve the health of the communities you serve. 

Why evidence-based?

An evidence-based program, or EBP, is a health promotion program that has been proven to be effective through formal research. Using evidence-based programming maximizes your efforts, since the program results have already been tested and proven. For example, there are EBPs that can help prevent young people from starting to smoke. There are others that can prompt women to get screened for breast cancer.


The PLANET MassCONECT program is made up of the following steps. Which step you begin with will depend on where you are in your program planning, but once you have started, we recommend proceeding through the steps in order.

Step 1: Frame the issue. Find local, state, and national data to help you make the case about the health problem facing your community and what needs to be done about it.

Step 2: Find effective strategies. Find out which high-level approaches can create change for your health issue, such as using a meal/snack intervention to address obesity among school-age children.

Step 3: Assess partnership opportunities. Now that you have a sense of which strategies might be promising, plan for potential partners to work with you on this effort.

Step 4a: Choose an evidence-based program. Select a research-tested program to help you achieve your goals.

Step 4b: Adapt an evidence-based program. Now that you have selected a program to best help your community, consider strategic changes to increase its impact and relevance, while staying true to the core of the original program.

Step 5: Plan the evaluation. Set up a plan to assess your program as you go and make tweaks along the way. This will ensure that your program is the most effective it can be and that you get the most out of your investment.

Step 6: Prepare to implement. Create an action plan to set your team up for successful delivery of your evidence-based program.


Visit the PLANET MassCONECT glossary for help with any unfamiliar terms.

Have questions about program planning? Attend a PLANET MassCONECT training and get ongoing technical assistance.