APHA and the Public Health Foundation have jointly released a tool for health departments to measure and improve performance of their policy efforts.

Performance Measurement for Public Health Policy” was created through the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund as part of the National Public Health Improvement Initiative. APHA and PHF are two of five public health organizations that works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide capacity building assistance to state, tribal, local and territorial health departments in performance improvement and accreditation readiness.

The tool breaks down how health departments affect public health policy in three sections. It first defines distinct policy types — organizational, regulatory and legislative — and elements that track policy progress and improvement.

Section two provides sample metrics tables and example policy categories to measure effectiveness of various types of policy activities. The final section “puts it all together” with three examples of how a health department might apply policy performance measurement to their specific needs.

“While other performance measurement and evaluation guides exist, this is the first tool to focus explicitly on performance measurement for public health policy,” APHA states on its website.

Download the tool and a template for health departments to track their own policies online.

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