From Community Assessment to Community Action

"Each time a person uses his or her capacity, the community is stronger and the person more powerful. That is why strong communities are basically places where the capacities of local residents are identified, valued, and used."

—John P. Kretzman and John L. McKnight

Community assessment involves identifying both the strengths and weaknesses of a community. When done well, the process uncovers community assets and builds connections between those who provide service and those who need them. Assessment is a first and critical step in any community action plan.

Adult / General

  • The Community Toolbox Troubleshooting Guide
    ctb.ku.edu/en/solveproblem/
    This guide can be helpful in solving problems and dilemmas that are common with doing community work. Back out to their main website at http://ctb.ku.edu/en/solveproblem/ for an incredible wealth of community development resources
  • Cultural Competence in a Multicultural World
    ctb.ku.edu/tools/en/chapter_1027.htm
    This is a comprehensive guide to understanding cultural diversity as part of the work of community building.
  • Charting a Course: Assessing a Community's Strengths and Needs
    www.nationalserviceresources.org/nsrclibrary/?action=detail&item=R0283
    Helps communities develop their own community assessment strategies to improve the content, timeliness, targeting, and coordination of services, and track the effectiveness of their actions over time.
  • Know Your Community: A Step-by-Step Guide to Community Needs and Resources Assessment
    www.nationalserviceresources.org/nsrclibrary/?action=detail&item=R0668
    This guide explains how to complete a comprehensive community assessment. It takes an asset-oriented rather than deficiency-oriented approach, considering individuals, citizen's groups, organizations, and government resources as elements that contribute to community.
  • Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets
    www.nationalserviceresources.org/nsrclibrary/?action=detail&item=m0026
    This book can help you locate the assets, skills, and capabilities of residents, citizen associations, and local institutions in communities.
  • Resources on Community Engagement and Strengthening from The Resource Center
    www.nationalserviceresources.org/resources/online_pubs/index.php#community
    This webpage includes a collection of radio shows and downloadable documents on community
    engagement topics.

Effective Practices

Proven techniques and real-life examples of what other projects have done in the area of community assessment

Youth

  • YMCA Resource Mapping & Community Action Guide: Assessing & Strengthening
    Communities through Service-Learning

    www.servicelearning.org/library/lib_cat/index.php?library_id=6897
    This guide helps young people and adults work together to assess community resources and then plan and implement service-learning projects that strengthen those resources and leverage young people's participation in civic life.
  • Youth Power Guide: How to Make Your Community Better
    www.nationalserviceresources.org/nsrclibrary/?action=detail&item=C1367
    This manual is designed to help youth improve their communities. Sections include team community
    assessment, and choosing and planning community projects. It provides advice for adult coordinators of youth groups.

Stay In Touch

Follow us on the following social networks to ensure that you are always up to date!

CNCS

Tell us how we're doing: MLKDay@cns.gov

Additional Opportunities

Additional opportunities to serve include:

Corporation for National and Community Service | Contact Us | Security and Privacy
Accessibility | FOIA | No Fear Act | Site Notices | Federal Register Notices | USA.gov
This is an official website of the U.S. Government