This section contains case studies of community programs primarily from across North America. It includes a broad sampling of programs to offer a wide variety of approaches and tools used, locations, types of organizations and participants, activities being promoted and problems being addressed. Most of these case studies illustrate approaches that have worked. However, examples of potential pitfalls are also included to provide you with a realistic map of the terrain ahead.
We are actively looking for new case studies with measured impact results. Do you know of any that might make good additions to this site? Please let us know.
All the Case Studies and examples are described in the past tense, including programs that are still operating. If the program is still operating, the Case Study summary is written in the present tense.
Are you looking for a particular topic? Please view Topic Resources.
Since creating In Motion in 2004, King County Metro Transit has applied a growing toolkit of community-based social marketing techniques to persuade nearly 20,000 Seattle-area travelers to drive less. In Motion employs motivational messaging, commitments, rewards, engaging materials and norming tailored to the target community. Participants pledge to shift two drive-alone trips per week to transit, ridesharing, biking or walking. The program has been called into action during or in anticipation of major construction, transit restructures or new tolls. Designated a Landmark case study in 2015. Listen to the program managers and ask questions during our Webinar Feb. 24, 2016.MORE »
This well-documented obesity prevention program pilot for low-income families in Carrboro NC (USA) featured three main components. Weekly work sessions in a community garden provided gardening instruction and practice opportunities and a familiarity with the vegetables. A seven-week workshop series covered cooking and nutrition. Social activities and events built and maintained interest in the garden and fostered interaction between garden members. By the end of their participation in the program, 17% (n=6, p<0.004) of obese or overweight children had improved their BMI classification and 100% of the children with a BMI classification of normal had maintained that BMI classification.MORE »
From 2009 to 2015, Pathfinder International and its partners implemented the USAID-funded Strengthening Communities through Integrated Programming (SCIP) project in Nampula province, Mozambique. As part of SCIP’s overarching mandate to improve quality of life at the household and community levels, the project worked to increase access to contraceptive services by strengthening and better integrating health and community systems. There was a 400% increase in couple years of protection that occurred across all contraceptive methods included in the Mozambican method mix, suggesting improved method choice and minimized health provider bias.MORE »
The Cool California Challenge is a state-wide competition between California cities engaging their residents in climate action. Participants earn points for tracking and reducing their electricity, natural gas and motor vehicle emissions and for simple one-time actions, like uploading photos and stories, inviting friends or taking a survey. Results from a quasi-experimental design suggest a 14% reduction in electricity use among program participants.MORE »
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a tremendously successful program that engages builders and owners in designing, building, selling / buying and operating more energy-efficient buildings. It awards points for meeting targets and doing targeted behaviors like benchmarking and tracking energy and water consumption, using specific types of materials, and recycling waste materials. It has become the most used green building rating system out there, adopted in more than 150 countries and territories worldwide. The program received Landmark designation in 2015.MORE »
Search the Case Studies