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Community Assessment


Community: a group or aggregate of

people within a geopolitical boundary


possible definitions

Community Assessment: a process of

evaluating a communitys needs and strengths

Frameworks of Assessment
Many! Betty Neumans Model Community Assessment Wheel Orems self care Epidemiologic frameworks
but they have some common

characteristics Which do you like? Why use one?

Common Features of Models

Recognize multiple determinants of


just focus on health, look at the other determinants (eg?)

Take a systems approach Recognize interaction between levels (eg?) Advise making community a partner Why?

Steps in Community Assessment

Set goals
Set methods and establish the team,

timeline and resources Collect data Analyze the data Establish diagnoses and priorities Set recommendations for action

Goals/Purposes of Assessment
Learn about the community
Look at old situations in new ways Prioritize problems Inform the decision-making process

Step 1: What is your purpose?

Step 2
Set methods and establish the team, timeline and resources
Who conducts the assessment? What kind of timeline? Resources? Why do methods depend on the team and resources?

Step 3: Collect the data

Identify the data you want
Identify sources of data

it already available? Who do you need to collect from?

Identify ways to collect the data

existing data Surveys or interviews or focus groups or

3a: Identify the data you want

What do you want to assess and why? Demographics and population changes Morbidity and mortality (disease occurrence) Health behaviors Physical environment and quality Health and social services Economic factors Safety and communication services Culture, values and beliefs

3b: Identify sources of data

Demographics and population


data: is it recent, good quality? Vital statistics (births, deaths, migration): is it accurate?

Morbidity and mortality


reports? Death records? Surveillance systems for specific conditions Conduct a survey if the data you want is not available
Health behaviors

a survey

Physical Environment and Quality Boundaries, climate, land use, infrastructure, housing characteristics: government has some data, but may need to do own inspection and talk to residents Air quality, water quality, waste and water management: government data, testing, inspection, and talk to residents Recreation

Health and Social Services: government

data and talk to residents about access and use Economic factors:

income, business and industry: government data, talk to residents, inspection Occupational health: government data or survey

Safety and communication services


and police Crime and violence Transportation (public, private), road conditions, accident rates Media and telephone access
Culture, Values and Beliefs

3c: Collect the data

Observations: what do you see? Hear? Windshield survey
Participant observation

Interviews: individuals,Focus Groups,

Key informants Surveys What are the advantages/ disadvantages of each?

Step 4: Analyze the data

Summarize total and by subgroup of

interest Compare to other (eg national)

Step 5: Establish Priorities

Draw conclusions:

are the problems/issues? For whom are they problems/issues? What are the factors contributing to the problems/issues? Is it a real or a potential problem? What are the strengths?
Set priorities for action

Step 6: Recommendations
Identify potential interventions and

strategies based on the needs and the strengths (eg) Consider interventions at multiple levels: individuals, municipal, national,

needs to be changed: personal behaviors, health care services, public policy, environment

Community as Partner
Why is it important to get the community

involved? When and How do you get the community involved?

Be clear on goals for doing the

assessment Collect data appropriate for goals Assess strengths as well as needs so can plan programs Include community members USE the results!