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3. Community Themes and Strengths Assessment (CTSA)


The Community Themes and Strengths Assessment answers the questions: "What is important to our community?" "How is quality of life perceived in our community?" and "What assets do we have that can be used to improve community health?" This assessment results in a strong understanding of community issues and concerns, perceptions about quality of life, and a map of community assets.

 
CTSA Highlights

The information gathered during this phase will feed into the Identify Strategic Issues Phase of the MAPP process (the other three assessments will also provide important sources of information). By including Community Themes and Strengths in the MAPP process, two benefits are gained. First, community members become more vested in the process when they have a sense of ownership and responsibility for the outcomes. This occurs when their concerns are genuinely considered and visibly affect the process. Second, the themes and issues identified here offer insight into the information uncovered during the other assessments.

Recommended Participants and Roles:

Subcommittee — designs and prepares for the Community Themes and Strengths Assessment, oversees the information gathering process, and compiles results.

MAPP Committee — oversees subcommittee activities and provides recommendations for gaining broad community participation.

Broad Community Involvement — is included to gather the thoughts, opinions, and concerns of community residents, an especially important component of this phase.

Overview of the Steps for the Community Themes and Strengths Assessment

  1. Prepare for the Community Themes and Strengths Assessment by establishing a subcommittee to oversee the activities. Identify necessary resources and individuals. Determine the most effective approaches to gather information from a cross-section of the community. These approaches might include community meetings, focus groups, windshield surveys, individual discussions, or interviews.
  2. Implement activities that gather community themes and strengths and engage the community in the MAPP process. Use open-ended questions that elicit opinions, thoughts, and issues. Also, gather feedback on quality of life issues and community assets. Meetings or discussions should be held in accessible places and at times that facilitate broad participation.
  3. Compile the results. Be sure to list issues, potential solutions, and assets.
  4. Sustain community involvement and empowerment throughout the remainder of the MAPP process.

 
More

In-depth Guidance
Download full text of this phase as a PDF file.


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Conference: November 3-5, 2014