Assessing the Building Healthy Communities Initiative

A Partnership With The California Endowment


What We Work For

Distilling learning from 10 years of community power building to advance health equity

Over the last 10 years, The California Endowment (TCE) has advanced health equity by building power in 14 communities that have been historically marginalized. As it transitions to the next phase of investments, TCE has engaged the Center for the Study of Social Policy as an evaluation partner to assist in distilling learning from its Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative. Our work will help elevate and disseminate what we have learned about what it takes to support and sustain power building initiatives. The products of this work are designed to be useful to participating communities and state and local partners and to provide valuable information for TCE’s transition planning for the next several years of investment. It will also inform philanthropic organizations considering similar investments.

How We Do It

To capture the power building story, we are engaging key stakeholders across the initiative: BHC youth and adult residents, foundation staff and board members, and state-wide advocates to document and synthesize key learning about how communities that have been marginalized build and exercise power to advance health equity. 

As part of this groundbreaking work, CSSP is:

  • Synthesizing lessons and recommendations from existing commissioned learning and evaluation documentation.
  • Developing three “targeted studies” on topics of high importance for the next phase of TCE’s work: the role of the foundation in power building; site intentions to sustain and evolve the power gains they have made; and what are the key ingredients to effectively connecting state advocacy and community power.
  • Coordinating with other evaluation partners to create a coherent data collection and reporting process.

The California Endowment (TCE) has engaged the Center for the Study of Social Policy as an evaluation partner to assist in distilling learning from its 10-year Building Healthy Communities initiative. The products of this work are designed to be useful to participating communities and state and local partners and to provide valuable information for TCE’s transition planning for the next several years of investment. It will also inform philanthropic organizations considering similar investments.

We are documenting and synthesizing key learning about how a major foundation supports traditionally marginalized communities to build and exercise power to advance health equity. The work prioritizes research questions, data collection, and products related to priority goals established by the Executive Team and Board for TCE’s next phase of work to advance health equity.

The products of this work are designed to be useful to participating communities and state and local partners and to provide valuable information for the Foundation’s transition planning. These products include:

Reports to TCE that synthesize knowledge and learning it has documented related to two of the Foundation’s Big Ideas.

Three targeted studies focused on key aspects of the Building Healthy Communities: the role of the foundation in building and sustaining community power; site efforts to build and sustain power building; and, lessons from connecting state advocacy efforts with local system change efforts.

Outcomes

  • The foundation will have the knowledge it needs to advance its transition planning to a new round of investments.
  • The field of philanthropy will have critical knowledge to encourage selected funders to undertake similar power building efforts to advance equity.
  • The participating communities will have the knowledge they need to continue to evolve youth and resident power building.