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Find out how you measure up with the Capability Assessment Tool. Major areas of demand and interest include life insurance, general insurance, superannuation, investment, health, risk management and financial services. What Can Insurers Do to Help? Genetics - a testing time for insurers? The answer is that evaluation should start at the beginning of an effort, so that you can monitor everything you do and be able to learn from and adjust any part of the process -- including planning -- to improve your work.
That's the purpose of evaluation: There are a number of reasons why you might want to conduct a community assessment of needs and resources, among them:. The reasons for an assessment will affect from whom and how you gather information, what is assessed, and what you do with the information you get. It's obviously important to start planning with a clear understanding of what you're setting out to do, so that your plan matches your goals.
It's important that make sure that whatever data exists is timely. The chances are that if it's more than six months to a year old, it's out of date and no longer accurate. Even census data, which is extensive and generally reliable, is a snapshot of a particular time. Since a full census is a once-a-decade event, census information may be as much as ten years out of date.
There are updates in between, but only to selected categories, and not every year. This is the time to finalize the questions you'll ask your informants, as well as the questions you hope to answer with the assessment. Those questions will depend on your purposes. In most cases, you'll want to find out what is important to members of populations of concern or those who might benefit from or be affected by any action you might take as a result of the assessment. You will probably also want to hear the opinions of the people who serve or work with those people -- doctors, human service staff and administrators, teachers, police, social workers, advocates, etc.
In addition, it will probably be helpful to look at some community level indicators , such as:. Before you start, take careful stock of your resources -- people, money, skills, time -- to be sure you can do all you plan to. An assessment can be conducted with volunteers and lots of free legwork, or it can require statistical and other expertise, professional consultation, and many paid hours.
Don't plan an assessment that you don't have the resources to carry out. Much of the rest of this chapter is devoted to methods of gathering assessment data. Each community is different, and so you might use any one or any combination of these and other methods detailed in this chapter, depending on what you're looking for and who can help. For the same reason that you've put together a planning group that represents all the different sectors of the community concerned or involved with the assessment, you should try to get information from as broad a range of people and groups as possible.
The greater the variety of people that supply your data, the better perspective you'll have on the real nature, needs, and resources of the community. Who the people concerned with your particular assessment are, however, depends on your particular focus and purposes. If you're concerned with domestic violence, you'd certainly want to include those directly or indirectly exposed to it, as well as emergency room personnel and police, in your data gathering.
If you're concerned with preserving open space, you might look to include both environmentalists and developers. That doesn't mean you wouldn't want the opinions of a variety of others, but simply that you'd try to make sure that the people with the most interest and knowledge -- and often the most to gain or lose -- could have their say. You wouldn't want to miss valuable information, regardless of the opinions of the informant. This brings up an important point. Your plan should make sure that the assessment includes the opportunity for all points of view to be aired.
You may not like what some people have to say, but if you don't know that there are people with differing opinions, you only have half of the information you need. Will you use a participatory research process, whereby community members gather data themselves or in collaboration with professionals?
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Will you hire an individual or a group to gather information? If you choose neither of these, then who will do the work of interviewing, surveying, or carrying out whatever other strategies you've chosen to find information? These are important questions, because their answers can affect the quality and quantity of information you get. Participatory researchers may need training to be able to do a good job. You may need an experienced researcher to put together a survey that gets at the issues you're most concerned with.
A combination of several types of data gatherers may work best. It's worth spending some time on this issue, so that you can assemble the crew that's right for your community and your plan. In order to get information from people, you'll have to contact them. There are many ways to do that, and you'll probably want to use several of them. In general, the more personal the approach, the more effective it will be.
Some of the most common:. Once you've collected the information, you have to analyze it to see what it means. That means identifying the main themes from interviews and forums, sorting out the concerns of the many from those of the insistent few, understanding what your indicators seem to show, comparing community members' concerns with the statistics and indicators, and perhaps a number of other analytical operations as well.
Some of these might involve a knowledge of statistics and higher math, while others may require only common sense and the ability to group information in logical ways. If you've engaged in a participatory research process, the community researchers should also be involved in analyzing the material they've found. They might do this in collaboration with professionals from local organizations, with consulting academic researchers, or with a paid consultant.
If you've decided to hire an individual or group to conduct the assessment, then they'll probably conduct the analysis as well. In either case, the methods used will probably depend on such considerations as how "hard" you want the data to be -- whether you want to know the statistical significance of particular findings, for example, or whether you'll use people's stories as evidence -- how much you think you need to know in order to create an action plan, and what kinds of data you collect.
Chapter 37, although its title concerns evaluation, is actually about research methods, and contains a lot of good information about how to approach the choice of methods. We've already discussed the possible need for training. Now is the time to decide what, if any, training is needed, who should be involved, and who will conduct it. In order to keep members of the planning group on an equal footing, it might make sense to offer the training to everyone, rather than just to those who are obviously not highly educated or articulate. It is probably important as well that the training be conducted by people who are not members of the planning group, even if some of them have the skills to do so.
The group will function best if everyone feels that everyone else is a colleague, even though members have different backgrounds and different sets of skills and knowledge. Decide how you'll record the results of the assessment and present them to the community. Depending on your goals and what's likely to come out of the assessment, "the community" here may mean the whole community or the community of stakeholders that is represented on the planning committee. In either case, you'll want to be able to explain clearly what the assessment found, and perhaps to engage people in strategizing about how to deal with it.
Your report doesn't have to be complicated or to use technical language in order to be compelling. In fact, the more you can use the words of the community members who contributed their concerns and experiences, the more powerful your report will be. How will you communicate the results to the community? With the availability of PowerPoint and similar programs, you have the opportunity to create a professional-looking presentation that you can use in a number of ways. It could be presented as a slide show in one or more public meetings or smaller gatherings, posted along with a narrative on one or more social media sites Facebook, YouTube, etc.
Furthermore, it could be used by a number of people without each having to fetch and carry large and cumbersome equipment or signboards and the like. The group should make sure everyone has a role that fits her skills, talents, and, to the extent possible, preferences. It should also make sure that all necessary tasks are covered. If more people need to be recruited -- as data gatherers, survey mailers, phone callers, etc. The point of having a plan is to try to anticipate everything that's needed -- as well as everything that might go wrong -- and make sure that it has been arranged for.
Assigning tasks appropriately is perhaps the most important part of that anticipation. Work out what should happen by when. How long will you gather information? How long will you take to analyze the data and write up a report? Each phase of the assessment should have a deadline. That creates benchmarks -- checkpoints along the way that tell you you're moving in the right direction and have gotten far enough along so that you'll finish the assessment on time with the information you need.
Once the plan is done, it should be presented to at least a sample of those who will be asked for information and those who will have responsibilities for parts of the assessment. This will allow them to consider whether the plan takes the culture of the community into account, and is likely to make data collection and analysis as easy as possible. As a result of their feedback, you can adjust parts of the plan to make them more acceptable to the community or more workable for the assessment team.
Now you can celebrate the completion of the plan, but it's not an occasion for resting on your laurels. There's a lot of work ahead as you conduct the assessment, analyze the data you get from it, and make and implement action plans based on that analysis. It's important to have benchmarks built into the assessment plan and the action plans that follow, so you can keep track of your progress. But it's also important to hold your long-term vision in view, and to keep moving toward it until the community becomes what all its members want it to be. Needs and resources are really two sides of the same coin.
- Love in the Asylum: A Novel!
- Mestres do Som I (Portuguese Edition).
- Global Sourcing. Procurement in China.
- Breathing Underwater.
- The Rock Stars Daughter (The Treadwell Academy Novels Book 1).
- The Camgirls Revenge.
In order to get a comprehensive view of your community, it is important to look at what you have and what you need. With these things in mind, you can have a positive impact on the problem you wish to address. Understanding the community's needs and assets will also help your organization clarify where it would like to go and how it can get there. The Action Catalogue is an online decision support tool that is intended to enable researchers, policy-makers and others wanting to conduct inclusive research, to find the method best suited for their specific project needs.
Ranking the health of nearly every county in the nation, the County Health Rankings help us see how where we live, learn, work, and play influences how healthy we are and how long we live. The health of a community depends on many different factors — ranging from individual health behaviors, education and jobs, to quality of health care, to the environment, therefore we all have a stake in creating a healthier community.
A companion piece to Communities in Action: A Guide to Effective Service Projects. Publication by Rotary International. Nutrition and Physical Activit y. A Tool kit to help with community assessment on a specific topic from the Vermont Dept.
- Der Ackermann aus Böhmen (German Edition).
- Me and Mr Darcy.
- Blue Fire!
- The Chernagor Pirates (Sceptre of Mercy Book 2).
A Capacity Builder's Resource Library. Preparing for a Collaborative Community Assessment. From the Iowa State University Extension. Planning for community health. An action planning guide for community-based initiatives. Healthier communities action kit. Michigan Community Health Assessment. Defining and organizing the community. Community organizing and community building for health. Children, Youth and Families Department.
Planning and conducting needs assessments: Skip to main content. Chapter 3 Sections Section 1. Understanding and Describing the Community Section 3. Collecting Information About the Problem Section 5. Analyzing Community Problems Section 6. Conducting Focus Groups Section 7. Conducting Needs Assessment Surveys Section 8. Identifying Community Assets and Resources Section 9. Developing Baseline Measures Section Conducting Concerns Surveys Section Determining Service Utilization Section Conducting Interviews Section Conducting Surveys Section Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats Section Tools for Community Mapping Section Implementing Photovoice in Your Community Section Windshield and Walking Surveys Section Arranging Assessments That Span Jurisdictions.
The Tool Box needs your help to remain available. Toggle navigation Chapter Sections. Learn how to develop a plan for community assessment to guide efforts to better understand community needs and resources. What do we mean by needs and resources? Why develop a plan for assessing local needs and resources?
Who should be involved in developing a plan for assessing local needs and resources? When should needs and assets be identified? How do you develop a plan for assessing local needs and resources? It will help you gain a deeper understanding of the community. Each community has its own needs and assets, as well as its own culture and social structure -- a unique web of relationships, history, strengths, and conflicts that defines it.
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A community assessment helps to uncover not only needs and resources, but the underlying culture and social structure that will help you understand how to address the community's needs and utilize its resources. An assessment will encourage community members to consider the community's assets and how to use them, as well as the community's needs and how to address them. That consideration can and should be the first step in their learning how to use their own resources to solve problems and improve community life.
It will help you make decisions about priorities for program or system improvement. It would obviously be foolhardy to try to address community issues without fully understanding what they are and how they arose. By the same token, failing to take advantage of community resources not only represents taking on a problem without using all the tools at your disposal to solve it, but misses an opportunity to increase the community's capacity for solving its own problems and creating its own change.
It goes a long way toward eliminating unpleasant surprises down the road. Identifying needs and resources before starting a program or initiative means that you know from the beginning what you're dealing with, and are less likely to be blindsided later by something you didn't expect. It allows you to involve community members from the very beginning of the process. This encourages both trust in the process and community buy-in and support, not only of the assessment, but of whatever actions are taken as a result of it.
Full community participation in planning and carrying out an assessment also promotes leadership from within the community and gives voice to those who may feel they have none. An assessment is a great opportunity to use community-based participatory research , further involving community members and increasing community capacity. A good plan will provide an easy-to-follow road map for conducting an accurate assessment. Planning ahead will save time and effort in carrying out the process.
A planning process will give community members the opportunity to voice their opinions, hopes, and fears about the community.