Community policy analysis is important for assuring that public policies are defined and implemented in ways that support community health improvement. We conduct studies to analyze the community impact of policies made at the federal, state, and local level. An example would be an assessment of the potential impact of federal health coverage expansions on local health coverage and health care capacity. Our approach to community policy analysis combines the insights of local stakeholders with innovative data models to produce community-specific impact assessments. The results can help stakeholders anticipate and optimize the community impact of policies. Steps in a community policy analysis could include:
- Defining the policy of interest;
- Engaging community stakeholders to identify actual or predicted impacts of the policy;
- Analyzing the actual and predicted impacts of the policy on population health and local service capacity; and
- Educating community stakeholders and policy makers about positive and negative impacts.
We support community policy analysis with a combination of research, data development, technical assistance, and training. When multiple teams or organizations are involved, we typically provide these supports through a Health Learning Network or Health Improvement Collaborative.