Public Health Capability Mapping Project

Illustration of the capability mapping concept used for public health

Illustration of the capability mapping concept used for public health

Capability mapping is a collaborative approach to planning that identifies resources needed to perform an information management or information technology function. It provides a methodical approach to visually portray one or more goals, the capabilities of achieving those goals, and the documents, tools, software and other resources that can be leveraged to support those capabilities. It can also help identify resources that do not yet exist, so they can be collaboratively developed within an agency or across agencies.

In 2013, JPHIT worked with the cancer surveillance community to develop a capability map depicting both the broader context and the resources for cancer case reporting. Subsequently, the draft map and descriptions of the capability mapping technique were shared with a workgroup consisting of representatives from public health agencies. Workgroup members responded to questions about using capability mapping as a planning and communications tool. The discussion addressed developing internal agency information capabilities, as well as collaboratively describing and improving public health capabilities nationally.

The report details the potential advantages of a public health capability map, including: improved communications between programmatic and IT staff; linking technology tools to public health goals: highlighting resource gaps and redundancies; and relative simplicity compared to other IT planning techniques.

Download: Public Health Capability Mapping Pilot