Understanding the process of behavior change interventions is critical to achieving campaign effectiveness and successful program replication. The present article presents a community education monitoring system (CEMS) using data from the Stanford Five-City Project (FCP), the Minnesota Heart Health Program (MHHP) and the Pawtucket Heart Health Program (PHHP). CEMS records the number and type of intervention activities, outcome objectives, targets of change (individual, organizational or environmental), channel(s) of dissemination and proportion of programs funded by the community. These data illustrate (1) the application of theory for each project, (2) data-based program administration, (3) feedback for revising programs and (4) type of reach or 'dose' information obtained from intervention monitoring. Process evaluations such as CEMS provide critical links between field realities and evaluation outcomes. This type of evaluation develops standards for measuring program reach and allows comparisons with other programs. CEMS also illustrates how programs enact theory. Validation studies are critical to the continued successful use of CEMS. The first step, however, is to develop a uniform way of describing complex multichannel behavior change programs. CEMS in a refined form should prove invaluable to health promotion program planners whether in research or service settings.