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Earning Trust to Build Equitable and Healthy Societies

Helping U.S. local governments support health and wellbeing for all.

About the program

The Earning Trust to Build Equitable and Healthy Societies (ET4HS) program helps local governments develop innovative approaches to address health disparities.

As part of the program, participating cities join an international network dedicated to learning and sourcing solutions for health equity issues. By connecting with global institutions, international public health officials, and grassroots health equity organizers, participants learn about proven international approaches that can be tailored to their local context to address complex health challenges. In addition to promoting a Culture of Health, the program strengthens relationships between government and community to restore trust and legitimacy, thereby laying the groundwork for more effective governance moving forward.

Apply by Feb 15!

How our program helps governments

During the ET4HS program, government participants develop skills to better work with communities and then create a plan to tackle a specific local health equity issue.

Participants receive the following support while working on their city-specific health equity issues:

  • A series of cross-city exercises and workshops where all participants come together to learn about and discuss concepts that are core to building legitimacy. Topics can include examining where power sits, sharing power, and reimagining more legitimate systems.

  • Individualized support from a Learning Liaison, serving as a CPI coach and trained in the core components and skills of the curriculum, to guide and facilitate the work of the city team throughout the program.

  • Skill-based exercises that equip teams with core community engagement and legitimacy skills, preparing them to apply what they learn in their local communities to increase trust between government and residents.

  • Mini-cohort sessions where city teams working on similar problem scopes are connected to discuss learnings and best practices, accelerating their progress towards health equity solutions and building legitimacy.

Program outcomes

By the end of the program, participants will:

  • Present a program capstone to senior city leadership. Cities will be invited to showcase their capstones, which include a deep dive into the chosen health equity issue(s), detailed participant learnings about their relationship with the local community, potential international solutions and local applicability, an end of program report, and a presentation, at nationwide program demonstrations.

  • Gain expertise in applying a toolkit of exercises that build community/government trust and encourage codesigned innovation. Exercises include historical analyses, systems mapping, civic learning, participatory action, community ideation, and designing experiments.

  • Build proficiency in core equity skills. Skills include examining where power sits, sharing power, and reimagining more legitimate systems.

  • Develop a plan of action to apply core equity skills to address other community challenges. This includes challenges that currently exist but may be in the purview of other government departments and future challenges.

  • Gain membership into the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) Legitimacy network. Participants will join a robust peer-to-peer network of cities that receive both a certificate of completion from CPI and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and priority for future opportunities to take part in CPI programming where cities have the space to share knowledge, information, and experiences.

Participant requirements

The ET4HS program will be comprised of a diverse cohort of 4 - 5 U.S. cities/municipalities and 2 - 3 non-U.S. cities (or city governments, including but not limited to districts, municipalities, provinces, etc.) Cohort diversity is considered across a range of factors, including population size, geography, ethnic and racial makeup, and socio-economic status.

To be eligible, cities should be able to commit a core team of 6 - 10 individuals who will lead this work, with each individual from the city team dedicating 4 hours per month. The core team must include:

  • 2-3 Community leaders from trusted community-based organizations (CBOs) that work to improve well-being and health outcomes in the community. These leaders should be informed about the core team’s problem scope and understand the unique challenges or opportunities of the community, serving as trusted validators.

  • 2-3 Local government staff, including those who spend time working directly with communities to build relationships by centering their voices and listening, learning, and adapting.

  • 2-3 Local actors, such as community foundations, universities, local private sector organizations, or others who bring resources and knowledge.

Program timeline

Application Deadline

February 15, 2023 @ 11:59 PM ET - Apply now!

(Applications reviewed on a rolling basis)

Applicants Notified

March 1, 2023

(Selected cities notified on a rolling basis)

Exploration and Research Webinar

March 13-14, 2023

Learning Network Training and Capability Cohort

March 20 - June 30, 2023

City Capstone Projects, Presentations, and Demo Day

July 1 - October 15, 2023

Additional resources

Apply now!

To apply for this program, please complete this application by Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 11:59pm ET.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Apply here

Please email the ET4HS team at the Centre for Public Impact ( if you have any questions about eligibility or a specific exemption you would like to discuss. This program will be delivered in English.

Support for this program was provided in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.