Cover of "Community Approaches to Systems Change"Building on the experiences and learnings from the first BUILD cohort, The BUILD Health Challenge® (BUILD) team, including our evaluation partners at Equal Measure, spent much of the second cohort turning those learnings into a framework for the BUILD model and tracking outcomes along that framework.  

We learned more about what sets up communities like those participating in BUILD for success – their knowledge, capacity, relationships, and connections with the community. We found shared language and value for complex issues, like health equity. And we found common challenges and successes as communities advanced their partnerships with a community-forward approach.  

While health outcomes for long-term, upstream health interventions are not typically quantifiable within a two- or three-year program cycle, we saw advancement across each of the BUILD pillars, as the communities became more bold, upstream, integrated, local, and data-driven. Equally as importantly, we learned that there were system-level changes that indicated progress towards that ultimate goal of a healthier community. 

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These shifts towards more equitable and sustainable practices are demonstrated by BUILD communities throughout their partnerships – in fact, our BUILD evaluation team tracked nearly 60 system-level changes in the second cohort alone. Examples included re-allocated or new funding streams; organizational shifts and scaling; and new regulatory, legislative, and public policies.  

Advancement across the BUILD pillars. Click to read more.

This report not only tracked outcomes, but also shares key concepts, strategies, and learnings from the second cohort on how to advance systems change, health equity, partnership health, and community engagement. Featured communities provide examples of the work in practice. 

The BUILD Health Challenge is grounded in the belief that our environments are what keep us healthy – that health is made in our neighborhoods, our schools, and our homes, not just in the doctor’s office. BUILD awards are meant to be transformative, and to be bold in how they create change. By learning about and documenting the ways that partnerships – like those that BUILD communities embark on – can transform the systems that inform our health, we hope that the Community Approaches to Systems Change report continues to provide inspiration for others who aim to do the same.