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Worksheet 1

Moving from Pre-assessment to Community Assessment

Ways to Use this Worksheet

  • Complete it yourself to help you think about and document your knowledge and understanding about the community as well as your role as community worker within this context.
  • Use some of the questions to interview community members in an effort to engage them in the community process.

Socio-political Context

Why are you currently involved or considering involvement in this community?

What expectations does your organization have regarding the completion of a community assessment?

Will the assessment be broad and all encompassing or will it be focused on particular issue or group?

How has the intended focus of your assessment been influenced by political decision-makers, the community and you?

What other significant assessment activities have been undertaken in this community? How recently? Is there documentation that you can utilize?

What internal and external relationships and political situations do you need to be aware of when working in the community?

What other City Departments should/could be involved?

Self Awareness

What is your awareness of your principles and style in relation to your community work practice?

Do you understand what your strengths and limitations are in relation to undertaking a community assessment?

Information about the Community

What general knowledge do you presently have about the following:

  • people
  • organizations and associations
  • services

Develop a sector map to help you identify and understand the people and groups in your community. See Worksheet 2

What is your present understanding of the problems/issues faced by the community?

How have you learned about the community so far? What resources do you currently have (i.e., ARP, Indices of Need)?

Network of Contacts

Is your existence known by a reasonably wide range of community members? (Use your sector map to gage this.)

Do community members and stakeholders (i.e., residents, service providers, funders, businessess, organizations and associations) have an understanding of the parameters of your involvement in the community?

Do you have a firm connection with a variety of people/organizations in the community who have some credibility and influence? (Reference to your sector map be helpful.)

Community Organization

What leadership structure exists in the community?

What is your awareness of the diverse interest or reference groups in the community (including norms, values and traditions)?

What level of community organization exists?

Community Readiness

What purpose would a more formal community assessment (a formal community research project) serve?

What would you hope to find out from a community assessment?

Who needs to be involved in planning and conducting a formal assessment in the community?

Is this the right time to conduct a community assessment?

  • Are you ready? Why?
  • Is there community interest?
  • Is your community ready? Why?
  • What barriers exist?

Sources: Edmonton Social Planning Council, 1988; Lee, 1992