Online Courses

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Building Healthy Communities

What if millions of community members, coalitions, and organizations were ready to take action on issues that mattered to them? And what if we could provide them with a field-tested resource to strengthen their skills and make them more effective in their critical work?

Online training is now available.

Enrollment is open for: "Building Healthy Communities: The Community Tool Box Online Curriculum."

Building Healthy Communities is a comprehensive online course created by the Community Tool Box team at the Center for Community Health and Development, a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. The Community Tool Box has been operating since 1994, serving 6 million unique users annually from 300 countries. It is recognized as a national and global leader in preparing people and organizations to promote community health and development. We believe this new curriculum will make significant contributions to online learning for community development.

Building Healthy Communities features 16 self-contained instructional modules for developing practical skills in core areas of community health and development.

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Module 1: Creating and Maintaining Coalitions and Partnerships

  • How to start a community coalition or collaborative partnership, and how to sustain its activities and effects
  • Determining who should be a part of a collaboration; understanding networking, communications, trust, and shared vision

Module 2: Assessing Community Needs and Resources

  • Truly listening to and learning from community members about what matters to them
  • Methods for using multiple and diverse sources to gather information about community needs and assets for change

Module 3: Analyzing Problems and Goals

  • How to conduct a thorough analysis of the community problem(s) and goal(s) that your effort will address, including analysis of key behaviors, personal and environmental factors, targets and agents of change, and potential solutions

Module 4: Developing a Framework or Model of Change

  • How to develop a logic model to guide your intervention
  • How to use a logic model as a support for your action planning and evaluation efforts

Module 5: Developing Strategic and Action Plans

  • Importance of developing strategies and action plans and using them to guide and enhance your work
  • Skills required to develop a vision, mission, objectives, strategies and action plans

Module 6: Building Leadership

  • Key principles of community work and involving as many people as possible in the leadership of the effort
  • How to create trust among participants and empower others for the purpose of shared leadership

Module 7: Developing an Intervention

  • Skills required to develop, select, adapt and implement interventions to fit the particular needs and cultural context of your community

Module 8: Increasing Participation and Membership

  • Why it is crucial to intentionally involve others in the work, and engage them in ways that keep them involved over time
  • Key principles in outreach and recruitment

Module 9: Enhancing Cultural Competence

  • Skills required to promote cultural competence and complete related personal and organizational assessments
  • Include diverse groups in the work of your organization, and work more effectively with people of different cultures

Module 10: Advocating for Change

  • Guidelines for effective advocacy
  • Advocacy techniques of varying intensity, and how potential advocacy tactics can help achieve your goals

Module 11: Influencing Policy Development

  • Developing policy goals and plans, and how to gain support for policy options
  • Identifying what your group will do to advance its policy goals

Module 12: Evaluating the Initiative

  • Developing useful evaluation questions consistent with your framework and intervention
  • Gathering evidence to address your evaluation questions, and how to use data to learn and make adjustments

Module 13: Implementing a Social Marketing Campaign

  • Gathering information from and listening to your target group; developing and communicating messages that can reach people
  • Using principles of persuasion to encourage new practices through social marketing

Module 14: Writing a Grant Application for Funding

  • Steps for identifying potential funding sources
  • Step-by-step guidance in applying for grant funding

Module 15: Improving Organizational Management and Development

  • Developing governance and management structures and policies needed to govern and run your initiative
  • Ensuring excellent communication

Module 16: Sustaining the Project or Initiative

  • Twelve tactics for sustainability
  • Applying tactics for sustainability to your group’s situation

Featured in each module

  • Content-rich lessons
  • Introductory videos
  • Quizzes
  • Reflection questions
  • Resources for further reading


For more information about Building Healthy Communities: Online Training, please contact our center:


A certificate of completion documents satisfactory completion of each module. You will have learned a wide variety of skills and techniques that you can apply directly in your own communities. Since the curriculum modules are aligned with the 16 core competencies in our free and open-source Community Tool Box, those completing the curriculum will always have just-in-time reminders to support their future work.

Enrollment is now open.