Frequently Asked Questions About the Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health

As of June 30, 2023, the toolkit is hosted and maintained here, a Community Commons Space—a content library powered by the Community Commons Knowledge Base and hosted by the nonprofit organization the Institute for People, Place, and Possibility (IP3).

What is the Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health?

The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health is a collection of health impact assessments (HIAs), data sets and indicators, research articles, policy briefs, tools, guides, and other resources to support policymakers’ efforts to consider health when making decisions across sectors such as housing, planning, transportation, and education. The toolkit was developed and is maintained by the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The toolkit:

  • Builds on data that was previously housed within the project’s map of HIAs.
  • Features refined filtering capabilities that allow users to sort the resources by location, sector, drivers of health, community type, and more.
  • Allows users to download all data and create maps, charts, and other visualizations in Microsoft Excel.
  • Promotes interactive data visualization to represent key HIA data in graphic form.

How can the toolkit support my work?

The toolkit is designed to support diverse users from different sectors and organization types who have varying levels of familiarity with ways to incorporate health in decision-making. It can be used by community organizers and supporters, policymakers, HIA practitioners, funders, researchers, or professionals in sectors such as housing or education who are interested in learning more about the connections between health and their work.

How was the toolkit developed?

The Health Impact Project conducted a qualitative exploration with 60 HIA resource users to understand what they need, how they seek out sources, and what challenges they face in accessing the information in HIAs. Recommendations resulting from that study included potential design features, such as an expanded library of supporting tools to help communities, agencies, and other organizations take action to improve public health.

How does the Health Impact Project select resources for the toolkit?

HIA reports are included in full, based on the information provided in the submission form. For other resources, such as tools, data sets, and references, the project team evaluates a range of factors, including their potential relevance to the toolkit’s users, their accessibility without cost or special software, and their age.

What do the symbols next to resource titles mean?

Each of the resources in the search results list is hyperlinked and can be opened in different ways, which are designated by the symbol that appears next to the titles:

  • A down arrow means the resource can be downloaded by clicking on the title. The download will appear at the bottom of your page as a PDF file.
  • A diagonal up arrow indicates that the resource is housed on an external site rather than the Pew website. The link will open in a new window or, for content files such as PDFs, download directly to the bottom of the browser page.
  • If no symbol appears next to the resource name, clicking on the title will open a new webpage with more information in the same window as your search results. Click the back button to return to your search results.

How do I download data from the toolkit?

The download button located in the upper right-hand corner of the page opens a drop-down menu with two options: “Download full results,” which will download the entire database, and “Download search results,” which will download the filtered results. Downloads are provided as CSV files.

Can I download full HIA reports?

Yes. Within the search results, click on the title of the HIA to visit the resource landing page. If a downloadable report is available, a blue box will appear on the right side of the landing page. Clicking on the link in that box will download the report to your computer.

How do I find resources for specific drivers of health or topic areas?

The toolkit resources can be searched using keywords and filtering criteria. To use the keyword search, type in a topic or area of interest and press Enter. The toolkit will display results related to the search terms.

The filtering criteria are listed on the left side of the toolkit landing page and allow users to filter results by location, sector, drivers of health, community type, and affected populations. To see definitions for the filtering criteria, hover over the “i” next to the criteria.

To clear a keyword search, delete the search terms and press Enter. To remove the filtering criteria, click “Clear all” at the top right corner of the filtering criteria list.

How do I search for resources by time frame?

To search for HIAs or resources within a certain time frame, use the “Date” sort and select “Oldest to newest” or “Newest to oldest.”

Why do some filters gray out when I refine my search?

Certain criteria apply only to HIAs. If you selected resources other than “HIA reports” such as “Tools and guides” or “References,” those criteria will automatically turn gray. 

Can I share the toolkit on social media?

Yes. Click the Share button located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and select the desired social media channel.

Where can I find more information about the toolkit or the Health Impact Project?

Please visit

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