Step 2: Find effective strategies

Once you have the data you need, explore the strategies that will be most effective to address your health topic of interest.

For example, if you are interested in childhood obesity, the CDC’s Community Guide includes “meal/snack interventions” as one of the recommended strategies, or broad approaches with proven impact. The recommendation shows that interventions to change the quality of meals and snacks are effective at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and helping children reduce or avoid increasing the rate of obesity or overweight. The guidance also notes that this type of intervention can be cost-effective.

The resources in this section can help you determine which strategies might be right to help you address your issue of interest.


Step 2 resources

A web database by the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre)  with reviews of health promotion and public health strategies in the US and internationally. 


DoPHER can be useful when you already have a potential strategy in mind and want to learn about the evidence underlying it.

A website from the CDC with information on effective strategies for HIV prevention. These strategies can also be applied to other health topics and include focus areas such as biomedical interventions, public health strategies, behavioral interventions, structural interventions, and social marketing.

This webinar (see slide deck here) from HBS Community Partners of California addresses strategies to help nonprofits survive the crisis and plan for the future, including budgeting for a range of scenarios, making difficult decisions about streamlining, and pivoting to address COVID.

A searchable online database that provides a reliable source of current research and systematic reviews for public health practitioners and decision-makers which can be used to shape evidence-informed decisions. 

Web-based resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that is continually updated and offers reviews of strategies that have been proven effective in impacting a population's health.


Having reviews of strategies is useful when you have a goal for creating change (e.g., lowering obesity rates among children) but are not sure what the evidence suggests are good ways to accomplish it. For example, the Guide may prompt you to create change using one or a combination of the following strategies: Mass media, community-based education, provider-based education, working with faith-based organizations, or school-based programs. The strategies listed in The Community Guide have been systematically reviewed by a national task force.

The Guide covers a range of topics, including adolescent health, alcohol, asthma, birth defects, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, STIs, pregnancy, health communication & social marketing, mental health, motor vehicle-related injury prevention, nutrition, obesity, oral health, physical activity, promoting health equity, tobacco, vaccines, violence, and worksite health promotion.

Community Guide reviews are designed to answer three questions:

  • What has worked for others and how well?
  • What might this intervention approach cost, and what am I likely to achieve through my investment?
  • What are the evidence gaps?

Recommendations for health care providers from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on the use of screening, counseling, and other preventive services typically delivered in primary care settings.


The USPSTF conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including preventive medications. The Task Force’s recommendation statements present health care providers with information about the evidence behind each recommendation, allowing clinicians to make informed decisions about implementation. Its recommendations are considered the "gold standard" for clinical preventive services.