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Community Assessment Process

WHY??

To identify and document the opportunities,
challenges, strengths, and needs of a
specific geographic community and its
residents.

Community Assessment Process
WHY??

To build and strengthen relationships
among community leaders, service
providers and most importantly,
community residents.

Community Assessment Process
WHY??

To have the information needed to make
good decisions for a community
collaborative strategic planning.

How is the Community Assessment Process
Different from a Traditional Needs Assessment
Process is as important as the product.
Residents are involved in design and implementation, not
just as respondents.
Assessment focuses not only on needs, but also on assets
and resources.
Assessment is multifaceted and uses multiple data
collection strategies.
Assessment is about dialogue and consensus building as
well as information gathering.
It is not just about social services.
It is not an academic process.
Community Assessment Process
Form planning and implementation committee.
Review secondary data.
Determine need for primary data.
Develop methods for new data collection.
Collect new data.
Analyze data collected.
Create report using secondary and primary data.
Share information with the community.
Usefulness of Secondary Data
Collection and aggregation is completed.
Include standardized data that is
comparable across sites.
Provide data your collaborative may not
be able to access directly.
May provide data your collaborative
otherwise would not have thought of
collecting.
Usefulness of Primary Data
Can provide neighborhood, age-group,
and/or service recipient specific data.
Provide data on residents' perceptions
of their community.
Provide data on residents' priorities for
their community.
Can identify community differences in
perceptions and priorities.
Why do a Community Survey?
Collect common data elements from a large
number of community residents.
Assures respondent anonymity.
Multiple methods of administration.
Comparatively easy to collect data on a wide
range of topics.
Comparatively easy to enter and analyze data.
Potential to collect data from a wide variety of
community residents.
Why do Focus Groups?
Comparatively easy and quick to
conduct.
Group interactions often bring out topics
or issues which would not rise from
individual interviews or surveys.
Allows for exploration of specific topics.
Allows for generation of new topics/ideas.

Why do Focus Groups?
Identify appropriate language for
surveys.
Identify appropriate questions, areas for
examination in surveys.
Obtain "exploratory" follow-up data for
survey responses.
Obtain details on perceptions or
experiences.
Development and Implementation
of a Community Survey
Identify what data you want to collect.
Develop the instrument.
Develop administration methods.
Develop method for storing and
analyzing data collected.
Development and Implementation
of a Community Survey
PILOT the instrument and methods.
Collect survey data.
Enter and analyze data collected.
Prepare summary of data for use in
community planning.

Development and Implementation
of Focus Groups
Identify the group(s) from whom you
want to collect data.
Identify what data you want to collect.
Develop focus group instrument and
protocol.
Develop method(s) for storing and
analyzing data collected.
Development and Implementation
of Focus Groups
PILOT the instrument and protocol.
Conduct focus group(s).
Transcribe or type notes and analyze
data collected.
Prepare summary of data for use in
community planning.

Utilizing Community Assessment
Use in Collaborative strategic planning.
Strengthen and build partnerships.
Identify service gaps.
Advocate for activities/programs/services.
Obtain funding (prepare grant proposals and
conduct presentations).
Identify and utilize community and
neighborhood assets and strengths.
Build public will and public awareness.
Community Assessment
Core Elements
Planning and implementation is broad-
based and inclusive.
Use existing data and collect new data.
Establish key roles for stakeholders
throughout the process.
Identify issues of importance, needs
and strengths in your county.
Summarize and USE your findings.