A Community Needs Assessment is used to determine the underlying causes and conditions of poverty within a specific geographic region and identify the available resources to address the unmet needs of the community’s most vulnerable residents.
The execution of a regular Community Needs Assessment is a requirement for all CSBG Eligible Entities, and one of the nine category’s (Category 3) of the Organizational Standards.
The Community Needs Assessment is the first phase of the Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) Cycle, grounding and guiding the work to develop and implement programs and services that lift families and communities out of poverty.
The National Community Action Partnership has developed a resources to assist CSBG Eligible Entities with planning and implementing a Community Needs Assessment process. This resource page provides comprehensive information and easy-to-use tools for each step of the Community Needs Assessment.
The National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) has produced a Community Action Guide to Comprehensive Community Needs Assessments. This guide supports planning and implementing the comprehensive Community Needs Assessment. It lays out design choices, planning steps, implementation practices, analysis, and presentation options. It is intended to help individual CAAs choose and implement effective community assessment practices; it also includes options that groups of agencies can implement together in partnership with state CSBG offices.
Who can I partner with?
When getting ready to conduct a CNA, we recommend finding agencies to partner with in your community. A few places we recommend looking in your community are: