Best Practices

Using Best Practices

When choosing a program, it is essential to understand the special characteristics of a community. Prior to selecting from existing 'best practices' or strategies for implementation, communities should complete the following:


  • Community Needs Assessment
  • Prioritization of Health Problems and Risks
  • Resources Assessment of Community Competencies and/or Weaknesses

Once a health problem and the resources able to support an intervention have been identified, a community may begin to choose an appropriate program or strategy. Things to consider include:


  • Is the intensity of program or strategy sufficient for addressing the problem
  • Are the program's target ages, genders and cultures appropriate?
  • Will the community and target group support such a program or intervention?
  • Have all barriers to implementation been identified?
  • Is the chosen program or strategy targeted within the right setting?
  • Are there enough strategies to address the health problem?
  • Does the cost of the intervention fit within the community's resources?
  • Are there personnel available and trained to implement the program?

Some resources to help you in making these decisions include:


  • The Community Toolbox (Includes 'how-to' sections)
  • Choosing and Adapting Community Interventions
  • Understanding Risk and Protective Factors: Their Use in Selecting Potential Targets and Promising Strategies for Interventions.
  • Designing Community Interventions
  • The Centers for the Application of Prevention Technologies: Critical Components of Prevention