Community assessment and interventions
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Community Assessment and Interventions. Community is:. A group of people identified by shared interest or characteristics May involve a geographic location, but not always. Basic Premise of Community Level Change Strategies.

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Community is
Community is:

  • A group of people identified by shared interest or characteristics

  • May involve a geographic location, but not always

Basic premise of community level change strategies
Basic Premise of Community Level Change Strategies

“Change will more likely to be successful and permanent when the people it affects are involved in initiating and promoting it”

Community mobilization
Community Mobilization

  • Community organization / mobilization is a planned process to activate a community to use its own social structures and any available resources (internal or external) to accomplish community goals, decided primarily by community representatives and consistent with local values.

Working in community
Working in Community

  • There is continuum of community work ranging from what some might call “pure” community development (the community decides the issue and solution - may ask for outside “expert” advice) to more mixed methods in which there is some combination of community and “expert” input.

Assuming we are working with a community
Assuming we are working with a community

  • How do we decide the issue?

  • What if we work for an agency that has already decided (e.g., a local health department)?

  • If we already know the issue, can we get real community participation?

No matter where on the continuum our project falls we must
No matter where on the continuum our project falls, we must

  • Involve the community as much as possible throughout the process

  • Listen to community concerns and respond to them

  • Work with the community to assess the present situation

Community assessment
Community Assessment

  • Most assessments focus on the “needs” of communities

  • It is important to also focus on the strengths or assets of a community

  • In almost every case, we need to do both

Asset mapping
Asset Mapping

  • All communities have assets

  • These may be thought of as:

    • Located in the community, under community control

    • Located in the community, under outside control

    • Located outside the community

Located in the community community control

Individual Assets

Skills, talents and experience of residents

Individual businesses

Home-based enterprises

Personal income

Gifts of labeled people

Organizational Assets:

Businesses associations

Citizen’s associations

Cultural organizations

Communication organizations

Religious organizations

Located in the community - community control

Located in the community out of community control

Private and non-profit organizations

Higher education institutions


Social service agencies

Public institutions and services:

Public schools



Fire departments


Located in the community - out of community control

Located in community out of community control
Located in community - out of community control

  • Physical Resources:

    • Vacant land

    • Vacant structures

    • Vacant housing

    • Energy and waste resources

Outside of community
Outside of Community

  • Welfare expenditures

  • Public information

Once we know the assets,

how do we

assess the problems

Social assessment
Social Assessment

  • The Social Assessment is the “process of determining people’s perceptions of their own needs or quality of life, and their aspirations for the common good, through broad participation and the application of multiple information-gathering activities designed to expand understanding g of the community”.

Social assessment cont
Social Assessment …cont

  • Requires data form several sources

  • Requires community participation

Social assessment cont1
Social Assessment …cont

  • What are some objective indicators of quality of life?

  • Unemployment rates

  • School drop-out rates

  • Income levels

  • Violent occurrences

Social assessment cont2
Social Assessment …cont

  • The subjective assessment of quality of life is as important.

  • It gives us a view of the situation through the eyes of the community.

Social assessment cont3
Social Assessment …cont

  • How do get this subjective information?

  • Questionnaires

  • Community forums

  • Key informant interviews

  • Focus groups

Epidemiological assessment
Epidemiological Assessment

  • Which health problem are important (objectively measure)

  • Which behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the health p[problem

Epidemiological assessment1
Epidemiological Assessment

  • Most common indicators

    • Mortality

    • Morbidity

    • Disability

    • Discomfort

    • Dissatisfaction

Epidemiological assessment2
Epidemiological Assessment

  • Life expectancy

  • Fitness

  • Years of potential life lost

Community based

  • Community-based/owned interventions are those primarily driven by the residents of the community at every stage: identification or definition of the problem or issue, development of solutions and strategies, implementation, and governance

Community based1

  • Operationally, they are the most often physically located in the priority community

    • Center for the Advancement of Community-based Public Health

Community placed

  • Community-place interventions are those that are physically located within the given geographic community to be served. Most often they are planned, designed and implemented by an outside agency or organization. Often they will have an advisory board that includes community residents.

    • Center for the Advancement of Community-based Public Health

Basic changes strategies
Basic Changes Strategies

  • Locality Development

    • Let’s get together and talk this over. An effort to get a wide range of community people involved in determining their “felt needs” and showing their own problems.

Buzz words
“Buzz Words”

  • Locality Development

    • Self help

    • Empowerment

    • Felt needs

    • Group process

    • Enabler

Basic changes strategies1
Basic Changes Strategies

  • Social Planning

    • Let's get the facts and take the logical next steps. An effort to gather pertinent facts about the problem then decide on a logical course of action. Experts decide the problems.

Buzz words1
“Buzz Words”

  • Social Planning

    • Administration

    • Fact-gathering

    • Bureaucracy

    • Experts

Basic changes strategies2
Basic Changes Strategies

  • Social Action

    • Let’s organize to destroy our oppressor. An effort to crystallize the issue so that people know who their enemy is and to organize mass action to bring pressure on selected targets.

Buzz words2
“Buzz Words”

  • Social Action

    • Social injustice

    • Activism

    • Oppressor

    • Redistribution of power


  • The three models are usually mixed in some way-these are not set in stone!


  • Working with communities can take many forms. In general, interventions are more effective if the community has been involved in their planning, development and implementation