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A community assessment is a broad look across agencies, systems, and community members to learn more about the circumstances that a partnership has identified as crucial to its vision. It gathers information from many different individuals and groups in the community; the types of information depend on the partnership's focus and the resources it can draw on to conduct the assessment. Most assessments begin by assembling and comparing information already collected by various individual agencies.
Some specific things you need to realize with community assessment:
- A partnership's vision statement should guide the assessment
- An assessment should focus on specific information topics
- Assessment is an ongoing process
- An accurate assessment views the community from multiple perspectives
- An effective assessment takes an in-depth look at diversity within a community
- Community assessment helps communities to understand their own concern by identifying, collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information on community assets, strengths, resources, and needs.