Planning & Evaluating
Health Information
Outreach Projects

Booklet One


2nd Edition - Outreach Evalution Resource Center 2013


Figure 1: Conducting a Community Assessment


Get Organized

  • Identify a target community
  • Assemble a team of advisors
  • Conduct a literature search
  • Take an inventory of what you know about your target community
  • Develop evaluation questions to guide your community assessment
  • Check organizational policies to determine whether your project will require institutional review

Gather Information

  • Consult existing data sources (such as publicly accessible statistical databases) to learn about your target community
  • Use data collection methods such as interviews, focus groups, and surveys to gather additional information to answer your evaluation questions

Assemble, Interpret and Act on Your Findings

  • Summarize data
  • Interpret findings and circulate reports to stakeholders
  • In consultation with your team of advisors, determine if a project in your target community is needed and feasible


Figure 2: Networking Opportunities

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine regional office for your area (also known as your Regional Medical Library) can be an excellent source of information about potential partners and ongoing outreach projects. Funding opportunities for health information outreach may even be available. Find information about your Regional Medical Library at or call 1-800-338-7657 from within the United States. Here are some other networking opportunities to consider:

If you represent a health sciences or hospital library

If you represent a community-based organization or public library


Figure 3: Stakeholders for a Health Information Training Project for Migrant Health Community Health Workers

Health information outreach project: a train-the-trainer project to teach community health workers (paraprofessionals) in a Migrant Health Clinic to provide health information to clinic patients.



Figure 4: The Innovation-Descision Process

Flowchart depicting flow from knowledge to persuasion to decision to implementation to confirmation.

This is the process that individuals go through when adopting a new product, resource or behavior.


Figure 5: Factors That Influence Innovation Adoption


Figure 6: Identifying Innovators and Early Adopters


Figure 7: SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis for Community Assessment Planning

Team Strengths

What are the strengths that the team possesses to conduct an outreach project with the target community?

Team Weaknesses

What are the team's shortcomings for conducting health information outreach?

Team Unknowns

What do we need to find out about the team before planning an outreach project?

Community Opportunities

What community characteristics, resources, and assets of the community will support the team's project?

Community Threats

What aspects of the community may create challenges or barriers to an outreach project?

Community Unknowns

What do we need to find out about the community before planning an outreach project?


Figure 8: Community Assessment Questions

Listed below are some typical community assessment questions that are based on the Diffusion of Innovation and the experience of the authors.

Key characteristics of the community

Influential community members (authority figures, innovators and early adopters, opinion leaders)

Current status of health information access

Current status of technology use and experience

Community resources and assets

Potential collaborators and partners


Figure 9: Secondary Data Sources

Note: You can access many of these sources through the Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce (

Type of information Sources
Demographic information (e.g., gender, age, income levels, ethnicity)

US Census data

Health information

County Health Rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin

CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

HHS Community Health Status Indicators

Barriers to health care (e.g., health shortage areas; percent of uninsured residents) HRSA Health Resources County Comparison Tool
Community workforce information (e.g. percent unemployed; job growth) Local Chambers of Commerce
Information about children

Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Center

Also check state department of education websites

Listings of local community-based organizations Local United Way sites, particularly the 2-1-1 United Way referral services.
You can find services by using the 2-1-1 Information and Referral Search
Information and statistics about public libraries State Library websites
Information about Healthy People 2020 goals and targets


Figure 10: Developing a Data Collection Plan

Evaluation question How will you collect the information and from whom? What tools need to be secured or developed? Who will be responsible for collecting this information? What is the completion date for data collection?
What community-based organizations serve lowincome members of the target community? Review statewide 2-1-1 database Locate URL for appropriate website Team leader 2/29/2012
Where do community members go for health information? Interview recreation center walking group Focus group question guide Program team member 1 3/29/2012


Figure 11: Interpreting Your Findings

Describe the target community:

Describe the community characteristics that will help you promote health information resource use by describing values, beliefs, and habits of community residents:

Describe the opportunities available to you to communicate with, teach, and support members of your target community, including:

Describe potential barriers or challenges that you will have to take into account when planning your outreach project:


Figure 12: SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis for Doing Outreach

  Helpful Harmful

Team Strengths

What are the team's strengths for conducting health information outreach in this community?

Team Weaknesses

What are the team's weaknesses that will have to be addressed to be effective in this community?


Community Opportunities

What are the opportunities within the community that would best support a health information outreach project?

Community Threats

What are the potential threats for doing health information outreach in the community?