Courser, Craycraft, Schweinhart
Abstract: Many community-level needs assessments follow highly structured processes that are externally led, modeled on state level needs assessment frameworks, and which consider community capacity-building to be outside of the assessment itself. This paradigm treats needs assessment as a required step for funding compliance and misses opportunities to empower communities to address important public health problems.
Ohio’s SPF-PFS project, which works with ten high-need, low capacity communities, developed and successfully implemented an innovative 8-component needs assessment structure that integrated empowerment evaluation principles to build community capacity and community leadership of the needs assessment process.
This session presents our partnership approach, focuses on how communities built capacity and came to understand their problems of practice, and details lessons learned as communities identified their own truths through the assessment process. We will demonstrate materials and resources that were developed to build community capacity and how our communities led the needs assessment process.