MAPP Network

An online forum for MAPP communities

About MAPP

"Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." – Henry Ford


What is MAPP?

Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) is a strategic approach to community health improvement. This tool helps communities improve health and quality of life through community-wide strategic planning. Using MAPP, communities seek to achieve optimal health by identifying and using their resources wisely, taking into account their unique circumstances and needs, and forming effective partnerships for strategic action.

The MAPP tool was developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in cooperation with the Public Health Practice Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A work group composed of local health officials, CDC representatives, community representatives, and academicians developed MAPP between 1997 and 2000. The vision for implementing MAPP is:  

"Communities achieving improved health and quality of life by mobilizing partnerships and taking strategic action."

The following nine principles are integral to the successful implementation of MAPP:

  1. Strategic Planning
  2. Systems Thinking
  3. Community ownership and stakeholder investment
  4. Shared responsibility and working toward a shared vision
  5. Comprehensive data informs each step of the process (data includes information on health status, quality of life, assets, external forces, and how the public health system functions)
  6. Builds on previous experience (not necessarily MAPP experience; may include partnerships, assessments, etc.)
  7. Partnerships
  8. Celebrations of successes
  9. Involves the local public health system

Benefits of Undertaking MAPP

Below are just some of the benefits to be derived from the MAPP process.

  • Create a healthy community and a better quality of life. The ultimate goal of MAPP is optimal community health—a community where residents are healthy, safe, and have a high quality of life. Here, a "healthy community" goes beyond physical health alone. According to the World Health Organization, "Health is a dynamic state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" (101st Session of the WHO Executive Board, Geneva, January 1998, Resolution EB101.R2). The Institute of Medicine echoes this definition and notes that "health is…a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources as well as physical capabilities" (Improving Health in the Community, 1997, p. 41).
  • Increase the visibility of public health within the community. By implementing a participatory and highly publicized process, increased awareness and knowledge of public health issues and greater appreciation for the local public health system as a whole may be achieved.
  • Anticipate and manage change. Community strategic planning better prepares local public health systems to anticipate, manage, and respond to changes in the environment.
  • Create a stronger public health infrastructure. The diverse network of partners within the local public health system is strengthened through the implementation of MAPP. This leads to better coordination of services and resources, a higher appreciation and awareness among partners, and less duplication of services.
  • Engage the community and create community ownership for public health issues. Through participation in the MAPP process, community residents may gain a better awareness of the area in which they live and their own potential for improving their quality of life. Community-driven processes also lead to collective thinking and a sense of community ownership in initiatives, and, ultimately, may produce more innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions to complex problems. Community participation in the MAPP process may augment community involvement in other initiatives and/or have long-lasting effects on creating a stronger community spirit.

Quick Guide to the MAPP Website and MAPP Resources - This NACCHO fact sheet provides an introduction to the MAPP website and helps first-time users navigate through the resources.

Take a look at the “What does the future hold for MAPP?” PowerPoint presentation to see how MAPP is strengthening local communities across the country, as told by the MAPP Workgroup. Click on the speaker icon on each slide to hear stories from members of the MAPP Workgroup.

Still have questions? Visit the MAPP website or email

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