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​​​​​Key Questions to Consider:

  • Who is most affected, and how can we assure their meaningful participation in planning?​
  • What is the shared vision and mission, and what will it take to get there?
  • How will we engage key stakeholders—including those most affected by the problem—in developing a strategic plan and framework for collaborative action?
  • How will we adapt promising approaches to fit our context?

Core Activities:

  • Establish comprehensive plans to:
    • Reduce risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs); including tobacco use, unhealthy diets, physical activity, and harmful use of alcohol
    • Control diseases (e.g., Roadmap for Ebola response activities)
    • Attain Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
    • Address social determinants of health (i.e., modify differential exposures, vulnerabilities, and consequences for socially excluded groups)
  • Engage all key stakeholders—including those most affected by the problem—in establishing a shared vision, mission, objectives, strategies, and action plan
  • Establish an organisational structure that assures participation from relevant sectors/government departments (e.g., Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Education, Water and Sanitation, Finance, Planning, Social Affairs and Welfare, Trade, and Transport)
  • Integrate plans for the prevention and control of NCDs and promotion of health equity into the national/local health development plan
  • Convene key stakeholders who can contribute—including governmental departments, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), professional associations, academia, and the private sector


Field Note: Intersectoral Collaboration on Child Nutrition in Informal Settlements in Mombasa, Kenya

Map image of KenyaChild malnutrition is recognised as a serious public health issue globally and a major cause of child morbidity and mortality. Children from resource-poor settings are especially at risk of malnutrition. The Nutritional Improvement for Children in Urban Chile and Kenya (NICK) made it a priority to address child malnutrition in an informal settlement of Mombasa, Kenya. The main goal of NICK was to support intersectoral action to tackle social determinants of child malnutrition through three cycles of actio​n centred on stakeholder participation.

There are many social determinants of poor child health and nutrition—education, income, working conditions, housing, neighbourhood and community conditions, and social exclusion. Because there are many determinants of poor child health and nutrition, NICK assured the inclusion of multiple sectors into the planning and implementation processes. These stakeholders included the target community as well as the health, gender, education, water and sanitation, and agriculture sectors.

Partnering wit​h the Kenyan Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MOPH) and the Urban Nutrition Working Group (UNWG), NICK held a series of meetings with all stakeholders, including local community health workers, to address malnutrition. The project objectives were planned and outlined collaboratively. Participants involved in the planning process were able to highlight a few strategies to reduce malnutrition. These strategies included: increasing the ability to farm, increasing opportunities to generate income, providing energy-saving cooking stoves, provide training on reduction of domestic violence, and providing social support for families. Participants in the planning process developed and carried out successful interventions that addressed all the strategies related to reducing malnutrition.

Field Note​: Using Coordination Meetings to Plan Ebola Response Activities in Liberia

Map image of Liberia
The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa placed thousands of people at risk for infection, with its high morbidity and mortality rates. The Ebola social mobilisation (community engagement) effort was led by UNICEF, WHO's African Regional Office, the MoH, and other national and international organisations.  In the beginning, all organisations were taking action with little coordination.

In an effort to assure better coordination, avoid response activity overlap, and protect communities from confusion, the local health teams and their partners conducted a meeting twice a week. This meeting was to organise activities by geographic location, organisations responsible for the activities, and the intended deliverables to the communities. To assure timely responsiveness to Lofa County communities, surveillance officers reported data on the "current situation." The coordination teams and local organisations used this data to inform their response effort (e.g., targeting the areas where there were high rates of infection). This was done to support intersectoral action among the different organisations in an effort to control the spread of Ebola at the family, village, and county levels.

[SOURCE: WHO (Kenya), WHO African Regional Office, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, and Urban Nutrition Working Group​]​

Resources to Help You Plan:

Resources from the Community Tool Box (CTB):

CTB Toolkits:

CTB Troubleshooting Guide(s) for Solving Common Problems:

Other Related CTB Readings: