Background: Substantial evidence supports community health workers’ (CHWs) contributions to improving health and reducing inequities. Common evaluation indicators can strengthen the evidence base and support the profession.

Objectives: We describe the development of a 6-year community–academic partnership to identify common CHW process and outcome indicators.

Methods: Methods include interviews, focus groups and a survey conducted in Michigan, a Summit in Oregon, consultations at national conferences, and regular conference calls.

Results: Using popular education as a primary strategy, we have honed our original goal, identified a set of 20 recommended constructs, developed a national constituency with international connections, and obtained dedicated funding.

Conclusions: Participatory identification, development, and uptake of a set of common indicators (CI) for CHW practice will allow data to be aggregated at multiple levels, potentially leading to more sustainable financing of CHW programs. Given that measurement drives practice, a set of common CHW indicators can help to preserve the flexibility and integrity of the CHW role.