Community toolkit

ECHO recognizes the importance of community readiness and preparedness. We support and encourage communities to take action and work to address racial/ethnic health disparities among their citizens.


We Can!™ (Ways to Enhance Children Activity and Nutrition) Materials
Energize Our Community: Toolkit for Action

This toolkit gives community planners a one-stop shop of planning tools, reproducible materials, and curricula with dynamic activities for parents to encourage a healthy weight in their family. The toolkit offers 6-course curricula for parents on energy balance, nutrition activities to increase access and availability of healthy foods, increase physical activity, and reduce screen time. Community groups, health departments, park and recreation agencies can conduct local outreach and programming for parents, youth, and the community at large with the helpful tipsheets and assessment tools for working with local media, partners, and conducting community events to support the We Can!™ program.

The following resources and tools come courtesy of the We Can!™ program by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

Download the We Can! guidebook.We Can™ is a trademark of the U.S. DHHS.

The Community Readiness Model

The Community Readiness Model (CRM) is a nine stage, multi-dimensional model to facilitate community change. The model was developed 15 years ago at Colorado State University (Plested, Jumper-Thurman, Edwards & Oetting, 1998). The model is community-specific, issue specific and is designed to build cooperation among systems and individuals as well as mobilizing a community into action.

The CRM has been used in Native communities throughout the United States and Canada. It has been used for development of more successful and effective intervention strategies for prevention of HIV/AIDS, drug and alcohol use, intimate partner violence, suicide, and many other topics around social issues. It has been published in over 30 articles and has documented numerous success stories. In 2006, the First Nations Behavioral Health Association awarded CASAE a plaque for the contribution of the CRM and its selection as one of the ten “effective practices” which addresses the behavioral health needs of children and adolescents across Indian Country.
The following resources and tools come courtesy of the Mountain Plains AIDS Education and Training Center. We thank them for their hard work and commitment to the fight against HIV in the American Indian / Alaska Native population. To review a full listing of their resources and products, please visit online.
Download Community Readiness Models

Developing and Sustaining CBPR Partnerships: A Skill-Building Curriculum

This evidence-based curriculum is intended as a tool for community-institutional partnerships that are using or planning to use a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to improving health. Each of the seven units in the curriculum includes:

  • Learning objectives
  • In-depth content information about the topic(s) being presented
  • Examples & interactive exercises designed to trigger discussion and help better understand the concepts being presented
  • Citations and suggested resources

Download the CBPR Curriculum

Community Assessment

Community assessment is the foundation for improving and promoting the health of community members. The role of community assessment is to identify factors that affect the health of a population and determine the availability of resources within the community to adequately address these factors. Through collaborative efforts forged among community leaders, public health agencies, businesses, hospitals, private practitioners, and academic centers (to name a few), the community can begin to answer key questions such as

  • “What are the strengths in our community?”
  • “What health concerns do community members have?”
  • “What resources are available and what do we need in the community to address these concerns?”