Framework for Integrating Community Partners

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Access and Functional Needs Toolkit Integrating a Community Partner Network to Inform Risk and Communication Strategies has a four-step framework for how to work with the community and build a network. This is a four-step framework can help develop and disseminate effective risk communication messages for the whole community:

                Step 1: Identify and engage partners.

                Step 2: Integrate partners

                Step 3: Test partner dissemination pathways

                Step 4: Sustain the partner network

Step 1: Identify and Engage Partners
  • It is integral to identify opportunities to create or expand existing community partner engagement practices and integrate partners into preparedness activities. People are more likely to receive information and listen when the message comes from someone they trust. It is important to include media sources that people believe as credible.
    Step 2: Integrate Partners
  • Integrating community partners with planners can help in the development and review of risk assessments and relevant population profile updates, health messages, materials, dissemination strategies, and quality improvement actions.
    Step 3: Test the Partner Dissemination Pathways
  • Community partners are important for disseminating important information and reaching the target population. It is also crucial to test the communication pathway with the community partners before an emergency or disaster. This will help see how the communication pathway works and that recipients understand the information.
    Step 4: Sustain the Partner Network
  • It is important to maintain the community partnerships and continue to build on those relationships. The goal is to have your communication partner network as a long-term purpose.


The table below is from the CDC’s Access and Functional Needs Toolkit. Each is a link to a work sheet to help with each step of the framework.


Action Item


Step 1: Identify and Engage Partners

  1. Create access and functional needs partner list.
  2. Engage potential partners.
  3. Conduct a partner meeting.

Step 2: Integrate Partners

  1. Update jurisdictional risk assessment.
  2. Review risk messages and materials.
  3. Review dissemination strategies.
  4. Improve quality of messages and dissemination process.

Step 3: Test the Partner Dissemination Pathways

  1. Test the dissemination process.
  2. Address the gaps.
  3. Develop message adaptation process.

Step 4: Sustain the Partner Network

  1. Integrate partners in drills and exercises.
  2. Document key partner activities.
  3. Sustain partner support for community resilience.