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Improving Engagement in Community Level Data Collection

Improving Community Engagement in Design, Collection and Use of Community-Level Data to Address Structural Determinants of Health

To improve health outcomes for all, it is essential for the community to be at the forefront of public health data. Powered by five local communities, this program gathers communities’ perspectives on the use of survey data to improve health.

Data Equity Coalitions in Atlanta, Detroit, Durham, Pittsburgh and San Antonio are hosting focus groups and other feedback opportunities for their communities. By leveraging the communities’ feedback, this project aims to increase access to local measures of social determinants of health and to improve the reach of surveys, particularly among populations historically excluded from participating.

The five Data Equity Coalitions—local organizations partnering with communities to improve the availability and use of data that addresses local priorities for health and wellbeing—are tailoring approaches to their community needs and gathering local perspectives through:

Focus groups: Gain community perspectives and input on processes for collecting and sharing survey data
Survey enhancements: Review potential new survey questions using community interviews
Community outreach: Try new ways of administering surveys to increase participation
Data collection: Gather community input on existing and emerging data needs
Information synthesis: Analyze qualitative data from focus groups and interviews to coalesce findings across the data coalitions and communities

Project Goals:

Invest in health measures and data that are relevant to communities and the outcomes communities care about

Collect data that is prioritized by communities and provide data in ways that support efforts to improve health locally

Develop inclusive methods to interpret and share health data that increases trust in and use of data

Facilitate connections between surveys and communities, and infuse community perspectives into data processes

Our Partners:

CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPH)

Local Data Equity Coalitions:

Research Partner Organization:

The National Alliance against Disparities in Patient Health (NADPH) —Woodbridge, VA

Learn more about our partners.


This program is made possible through funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.


Surveys and Platforms

This project leverages processes and information from various public health surveys. Below are some of the surveys and platforms discussed:

The Population Level Analysis and Community Estimates (PLACES) website provides user-friendly health measure estimates for all U.S. counties, census tracts and ZIP Codes.

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a system of health-related telephone surveys that collect health data about U.S. residents. BRFSS collects data from over 400,000 adult interviews annually in 50 states, Washington, D.C., and three U.S. territories.

The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) collects data on attitudes and experiences before, during and shortly after pregnancy. PRAMS covers eight of 10 U.S. births and aims to improve birthing persons’ and infant health.


a collage of many people of all ages and ethnicities
Improving Engagement in Community Level Data Collection
United States of America
The goal of the Improving Engagement in Community Level Data Collection program is to improve the nation's access to community-relevant and nationally significant data that measure health and equity.
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