At the completion of this task, the process facilitator(s) and/or the assessment team should have:
As a locally based process, PACE EH depends on defining the target community and then involving members of that community in the assessment process. The community will influence many of the subsequent activities in the assessment process, such as selecting environmental health concerns, deciding on ways to involve community members, developing issue profiles, identifying community partners, identifying resources and collaborative opportunities, and developing an action plan.
Decisions about the definition of community had far-reaching repercussions in the pilot sites. One assessment team in a large metropolitan area had difficulty prioritizing sub-local environmental health issues (significant issues confined to a small segment of the overall population) because the size and demographics of the entire community tended to “push them off the table.” Another team addressed this problem by weighing community input not only objectively, but also subjectively. For example, despite the fact that very few people in the community were concerned about increasing rodent infestation, those who were all lived in the same sub-locality. This recognition influenced the team to keep the issue “on the table” even though it affected a statistically insignificant segment of the population. Their solution shows the importance of defining and characterizing the community culturally as well as statistically.
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