News & Media |  Donate  |  Contact Us | 
Asked Questions
San Francisco Health Network
Our Programs

Community Health Promotion & Prevention

Community Action Model

"In the South of Market area, a group of youth advocates successfully get the San Francisco Park and Recreation Department to adopt a policy banning outdoor smoking in most parks and playgrounds."


No discussion of improving people's health and well being can be made without looking at health and social inequities in the context of the global economic structures that create this inequity. No solution to dismantle these inequities can be made without the full involvement and leadership of those communities impacted most by the social and economic injustice that the global economy promotes.

The Community Action Model (CAM) creates change by building community capacity. The CAM is asset based and builds on the strengths or capacity of a community to create change from within. The CAM moves away from projects that focus solely on changing individual lifestyle and behavior to projects that mobilize community members and agencies to change environmental factors promoting economic and environmental inequalities. Fundamental to this model is a critical analysis that identifies the underlying social, economic, and environmental forces creating the health and social inequalities that the community wants to address.

The intent of the Community Action Model is to work in collaboration with communities and provide a framework for community members to acquire the skills and resources to investigate the health of the place where they live and then plan, implement and evaluate actions that change the environment to promote and improve health.