Thursday, January 6, 2011

Conducting a Community Needs Assessment

A needs assessment is a tool that enables communities to identify local strengths and challenges and then use this information to develop a plan for improving a set of results in neighborhoods. As local residents are best positioned to determine the needs of their communities and the potential solutions that would have the greatest impact, community residents can play a critical role in developing a needs assessment and gathering and interpreting data. Engaged and supportive residents can also help to ensure the long-term sustainability of solutions and strategies pursued as a result the needs assessment.

UNCA recently released a report offering guidance to Promise Neighborhood planning grantees on how to obtain the data for and conduct a comprehensive needs assessment. The report includes some additional resources at the end that communities may find helpful in developing a needs assessment. The full report can be found here.

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