When you’re in the field working on health or community development projects, it can be a challenge to see all the pieces. Not only can it be a challenge to see your pieces, but also the pieces of work that other organizations are doing to improve health equity. How does it all fit together? Where is the overlap? The gaps? When you can’t see what other organizations are doing in your community, it can hinder efficiency and slow progress altogether.
But change agents like Dr. Soma Stout, executive lead for 100 Million Healthier Lives, see a challenge that’s ripe with opportunity.
100 Million Healthier Lives (#100MHL) is a global initiative of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Recognizing that education, economics, the environment, agriculture and other social factors all affect health and well-being, 100 Million Healthier Lives is working to bridge these sectors together, helping the people and organizations on the ground actually see what is happening in and around their communities. From working collaboratively to forging new private-public partnerships, 100 Million Healthier Lives aims to accelerate the health improvements that can transform systems and societies.
But with such an ambitious goal, 100 Million Healthier Lives leadership knew that they needed an innovative partnership to bring their vision to life.
“We were looking at helping people think beyond their data as a set of numbers or patients, etcetera, [and] help people see the place-based relationships,” Dr. Stout explained.
To do that, 100 Million Healthier Lives and IHI turned to Community Commons.
“[Community] Commons had already built incredibly valuable databases and sources,” Stout said. “We talked with many organizations and we were looking for a partner who had a complementary vision and tools to help realize that vision. Their [Community Commons] ability to collaborate and create a common infrastructure for communities were standouts compared to other groups.”
Working together, teams from 100 Million Healthier Lives and Community Commons created “Mapping the Movement,” an interactive map that provides free, up-to-date information about the programs, services and people working in every state and around the world to improve lives and health outcomes by 2020 and beyond.
Interact with the embedded map below.
“We have around 300 partner organizations now,” said Stout. “Those partners are the ones doing the real work on the ground. [Mapping the Movement is] multiple initiatives putting their data together and making their work visible.”
Seeing the movement in action
Organizations such as SCALE, that works to increase access to healthy foods, can quickly see other organizations and individuals working on food access or other related issues in their communities. By seeing these partners, organizations can reach out, pool resources, and work towards shared goals in their communities.
“The measurement platform that we’re building and integrating allows people to integrate their data across the community. It helps facilitate the goals of 100 Million Healthier Lives, [and see] what we need to do to help communities improve as a whole,” said Stout.
Since launching, the movement has been met with sheer enthusiasm. “People have looked at it and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I had no idea that these other people were already working on this, on the same movement. I’m going to reach out and find them to see what we can do,” Stout said.
Both 100 Million Healthier Lives and Community Commons are tracking the progress and outcomes along the way. While a future analysis is planned, the daily growing list of data points on Mapping the Movement suggest that already, one part of 100 Million Healthier Lives has come to fruition.