Systems within communities—including medical care, public health, housing, education, transportation, justice, and human services—directly influence the health and well-being of community members. These systems often operate independently from each other, resulting in inefficient allocation of resources, lack or duplication of services, and poor service quality. These effects hamper systems' efforts to promote equitable health and well-being in communities.
Systems can work together to align their actions and decisionmaking. One way is with shared measurement: using a common set of measurable goals that reflect shared priorities across systems and with community members. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AIR is exploring how shared measurement allows systems to define collective goals, monitor progress, and create accountability.
But many questions arise about using shared measurement to align systems:
- How can measurement align systems and communities to meet their shared needs and priorities?
- When and how is shared measurement most effective in advancing alignment?
- What are ways of defining, selecting, applying, and tracking measurement within aligned systems to produce more equitable outcomes?
- How can measurement make visible the effects of institutional policies and practices that historically have created inequitable outcomes for excluded or marginalized groups?
The goal of this project is to develop a set of stakeholder-driven principles and practical guidance for systems (e.g., public health, health care, human and social services) and communities to use measurement as a tool to align decisions, policies, and practices toward equitable health. These actions should reflect and address the needs and priorities of communities served and the effects of institutional policies and practices that have historically created inequitable outcomes for excluded or marginalized groups. To develop these resources, AIR is:
- working with a steering committee to identify and review existing cross-system alignment efforts;
- develop use cases illustrating how measurement can foster alignment;
- engaging community members in conversations about their priorities and values; and
- engaging a diverse group of panelists with expertise in cross-systems alignment, measurement, and community engagement as experts on a stakeholder panel.
AIR will guide the panel through a modified delphi process—an iterative process that systematically and progressively gathers input from a panel of stakeholder experts to determine group consensus.
By using these principles and accompanying guidance, community members, system leaders, service providers, and policymakers could be more effective in collectively improving the health and well-being of their communities.