Chapter 7: Coalitions and Community Planning

Vocabulary List

(Merriam-Webster, 2023)


This week you will learn how vibrant coalitions can help bring community resources together to accomplish a common goal. 

W07 Study: Coalition Building

Consider this: You will never have enough resources to accomplish all you would like to do on your own. Luckily, other people have similar interests and also have limited resources. When working on community health issues, you cannot solve every problem, and you cannot work on the issues by yourself. You must rely on coalitions.

Optional Resource:

This Optional Video shows examples of communities that formed coalitions of people and agencies to work together on health projects: Fort HealthCare Healthy Community Coalition

A coalition is a group of people representing organizations working together to address a common problem. Coalitions are temporary (also known as ad hoc) organizations with a single purpose. These temporary coalitions can sometimes become permanent, but the people involved are frequently assigned by their respective organizations or agencies for a specified shorter period of time, like one or two years. In this way, coalitions are similar to committees or presidencies in your neighborhoods or towns or those in your home ward, branch, or stake.

Think about trying to prevent, treat, cure, and help people recover from cancer. You do not have enough time or money to do all of that alone. However, if you tap into the resources around you, you can build a coalition of similarly-minded people to help you expand your work. 

Coalitions and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Coalitions are especially useful for community-related issues. Coalitions are important; the Church uses them frequently to conduct Christ's work. The following articles tell about two of the projects The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is doing with coalitions, where they joined with other faith groups.

Example of a Coalition in Action

A grade school student has been hit by a car at an intersection in your town on Main Street (a government-maintained road). The list below represents agencies or groups that may need to be involved to solve the problem of crosswalk safety.

To address crosswalk safety, these different agencies or groups may form a coalition to bring together ideas and perspectives to come up with a solution.

W07 Study: Community Resources and Coalition Building

Purpose: Prepare for this week's application activity. 

Coalitions are an important tool that public health professionals can use to create change within a community, making it a safer, and healthier place to live. A coalition is much more powerful than one person or agency, as it can bring together greatly expanded resources and energy to increase the impact on health in a community exponentially.

The Global Health Coalition (Global Health Coalition, n.d.) is an example of a group that was formed to address a specific health problem. They use technology to help underserved areas of the world, bringing them data resources.

Another example is Bloomberg Philanthropies (Bloomberg Philanthropies, n.d.), which helps convene coalitions to address health problems around the world. One of their projects is the Partnership for Healthy Cities, which brings cities together to fight noncommunicable diseases and injuries.

On a local level, the Community Tool Box and Maintaining a Coalition (Section 6. Coalition Building II: Maintaining a Coalition, n.d.) are services of the Center for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. These sites give ideas and resources for groups to start and maintain a coalition. Their purpose is to organize a group of individuals and professionals around a common cause, working together to achieve a unified goal.

This historical note from the Community Toolbox ((Chapter 5, Section 5. Coalition Building I: Starting a Coalition, n.d.), paragraph 5) relates how concerned people and agencies cooperated to set the stage for health coalitions. 

In November of 1986, at an international conference on health promotion co-sponsored by the Canadian Public Health AVocabulary Listssociation, Health and Welfare Canada, and the World Health Organization, participants drafted what has become known as the Ottawa Charter. This document set out guidelines for attaining healthy communities and a healthy society, and laid the groundwork for the Healthy Communities movement. Perhaps its most important statement is encapsulated in these two sentences:

"The fundamental conditions and resources for health are: peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable ecosystem, sustainable resources, social justice, and equity. Improvement in health requires a secure foundation in these basic prerequisites."

As you read the information on these websites, consider what benefits a coalition may bring to your community and how they are more powerful than individual organizations. 


Bloomberg Philanthropies. (n.d.). Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Chapter 5, Section 5. Coalition Building I: Starting a Coalition. (n.d.). Community Tool Box.

Elder Ballard and Baptist Pastor Discuss Interfaith Coalitions. (2013, February 11). Church Newsroom.

Global Health Coalition. (n.d.). Global Health Coalition.

Merriam-Webster. (2023). Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster.

Section 6. Coalition Building II: Maintaining a Coalition. (n.d.). Community Tool Box.

Service in Houston Unifies Community Relationships. (2013, September 19). Church Newsroom.

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