The Core Elements
Ways to Use this Worksheet
- Use it to help develop a plan for the community assessment process.
- Complete it with community members who expressed an interest in the community assessment as a means of beginning to establish a planning group which will guide the process.
Establishing a Representative Planning Group
Have you established a group that will guide the assessment process?
Is the group broadly representative of the community? Does it include community members, service providers, consumers, community leaders, key decision-makers?
Who else should be involved in planning and guiding the process?
Defining the Community
How are you defining your community? Is it a geographic community or a community of interest or attribute or a combination of these?
What boundaries or parameters have been decided upon? How have they been decided upon?
Information Collection and Analysis
What is the purpose of the community assessment? What goals and objectives do you have for this initiative?
What do you want to find out?
What information will you need to collect given your answers to the previous questions?
What information is most critical to collect at this stage in the community work process?
Who will assist in collecting the data?
Who will participate in the data analysis?
Will the Planning Group require additional expertise in order to successfully collect and analyze the data?
What information gathering techniques will you employ?
Considering the Community's Unique Characteristics
How will the community's diversity influence the community assessment process?
What are the key issues in the community based on what you know now?
What else makes this community unique?
What do you perceive to be the community's strengths and limitations? How could these affect the assessment process?
What strategies could be employed that would make the community assessment a successful participatory process?
Sensitivity, Openness and Inclusiveness
Who should participate in the community assessment? (Refer to your sector map.)
What is your understanding of the community's diversity?
How will you promote/encourage community involvement?
Who will receive the information and results once the community assessment is complete?
How will the information be used? How will you convey this to the community?
Timing and Sequencing of Activities
Can you establish the community assessment time lines or are they pre-determined?
What are the proposed time lines and sequence of activities for conducting the community assessment?
Is the information you wish to collect realistic given the time lines?
Availability of Financial and Human Resources
What financial resources are available to you?
What human resources are available to you?
Is there anyone who does not support the assessment process?
What commitment do you believe there is to utilizing the results of the assessment process? Will action result from the community assessment?
What other challenges might you encounter during the assessment process?
What plans can you put in place to address any anticipated challenges you have identified?
Are there any other issues that need to be addressed at this point?
Do the issues that affect this community also affect other community/greater society?
Sources: Bruner et al, 1993; Lee, 1992; Samuels et al, 1995