About the CHI Navigator

Tools for Successful Community Health Improvement (CHI) Efforts


The Tools for Successful Community Health Improvement (CHI) Efforts section is designed to help you organize your work for each part of the CHI process and connect you to targeted tools—including guidance, templates, or examples—to help you effectively incorporate key concepts and carry out your approach. This section is intended to serve as a starting point to determine what actions to take and how best to carry out the work. The tools mentioned in this section comprise a select, focused set to help achieve the key concepts.

Please note, this section is not intended to serve as an all-inclusive reference or as a comprehensive beginner’s resource, as many such resources—created by experts in health care, public health, and community development—already exist. See the Additional Tools and Resources section for commonly used overview resources.

Use this section as a quick-start guide to inspire action, rather than a comprehensive step-by-step manual.

Key Concept Origins

The key concepts that you will find in the Tools for Successful Community Health Improvement (CHI) Efforts web pages will help guide CHI activities toward greater success. They stem from CHI guiding principles and are drawn from the following sources after careful review and analysis:

Analysis of the CHI guiding principles also identified the following four tenets to consider throughout the CHI process:

Each of these tenets applies to each of the five steps within the County Health Rankings &  Roadmaps Action Cycle (Assess Needs & Resources, Focus on What’s Important, Choose Effective Policies & Programs, Act on What’s Important, and Evaluate Actions).

The key concepts were mapped to an adapted version of the Action Cycle framework. To learn more, visit the Tools for Successful CHI Efforts section.

About the Tools

The user-friendly tools in this section are intended to:

  • Help you incorporate the key concepts (e.g., how to work collaboratively, efficiently, sustainably) into your CHI efforts.
  • Provide you with action-oriented, operational, and practical guidance for each tenet and/or step of the CHI process.
  • Connect you to a small group of focused tools as a starting point for working through the key concepts, tenets, and CHI process steps.
  • Provide a unique, value-added resource to complement existing CHI tools and tool lists.
  • Point you directly to a specific relevant template, or guidance section for quick reference.
  • Avoid duplicating comprehensive CHI process guides.

The tools selected are from specified sources using a systematic approach and specific inclusion criteria. As noted elsewhere, Tools for Successful CHI Efforts does not contain an exhaustive list of CHI tools. Instead, the tools in this section have been carefully chosen to provide you with a starting point in line with the key concepts and tenets.

If you find a useful tool that that is not included here and meets the CHI Navigator’s inclusion criteria please email us. We encourage you to visit the Additional Tools and Resources page for other resources that may be suitable to your specific CHI effort(s).

Sources of Tools

Primary sources:
The following two websites are widely known for the depth and breadth of their Community Health Improvement (CHI) tools and resources, and serve as the primary sources of tools included in the CHI Navigator:

Additional sources include the following:

The primary sources above were reviewed by two independent teams of reviewers. Community Tool Box chapters, sections, and toolkits related to each CHI key concept were chosen with guidance from the Community Tool Box team.

Tools and resources referenced on the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps site were identified using a key-term search. Phrases from each key concept were entered into the search box on the Tools and Resources page, and search results were recorded.

Tools Inclusion Criteria

Two independent teams reviewed and assessed tools for potential inclusion in the CHI Navigator. They used the following criteria during their preliminary review:

  • Operationalizes a key concept; provides the “how to”; is action-oriented.
  • Contains straightforward, user-friendly template(s) or sample(s) that can be customized.
  • Is easy to access, or to point to, from the CHI Navigator (i.e., the specific relevant tool can be linked to directly).
  • Reflects current thinking on the subject matter (i.e., the date when the tool was developed or was last updated was considered, as was whether the tool operationalizes the key concept consistently with current thinking).
  • Is freely available online (i.e., there is no fee charged to access the tool).

Once the broader pool of tools was narrowed using the criteria above, the following factors were considered in selecting the final CHI Navigator tool set:

  • The strength and usability of the action-oriented description, template(s), or customizable examples, and alignment to key concepts.
  • Number of clicks needed to arrive at the specific, relevant section of the tool; the fewer clicks the better.
  • Having at least one tool for each key concept, within each tenet or step.
  • For each tenet or step, having both informational, narrative tools describing the operationalization of a key concept, and operational tools with tangible features that can be used or applied by the user to carry out a key concept (e.g., a template, checklist, an example).
  • Ensuring minimal overlap in content and templates provided by selected tools, thereby keeping the set concise.