3. Forces of Change Assessment - Overview
During the Forces of Change Assessment, participants answer the following questions: "What is occurring or might occur that affects the health of our community or the local public health system?" and "What specific threats or opportunities are generated by these occurrences?" The Forces of Change Assessment should result in a comprehensive, but focused, list that identifies key forces and describes their impacts.
Although it may not seem obvious at first, the broader environment is constantly affecting communities and local public health systems. State and federal legislation, rapid technological advances, changes in the organization of healthcare services, shifts in economic forces, and changing family structures and gender roles are all examples of forces of change. These forces are important because they affect—either directly or indirectly—the health and quality of life in the community and the effectiveness of the local public health system.
During this phase, participants engage in brainstorming sessions aimed at identifying forces. Forces are broad and all-encompassing, and include trends, events, and factors.
How to Conduct the Forces of Change Assessment
Step 1 - Prepare for the Forces of Change Assessment
Step 2 - Convene a brainstorming session to identify forces of change
Step 3 - Identify potential threats and opportunities for each force of change
The final list is tabled until it is time to conduct the Identify Strategic Issues phase of the MAPP process. Participants then review each of the issues identified in the other MAPP assessments in light of the forces of change, and discuss the associated threats and opportunities. This activity ensures that strategic issues are relevant to the changing environment.