Assess Needs and Resources

As partners work together, the first step is to assess the health of the community. Some important considerations include:

  • Looking not only at health outcomes (e.g. morbidity and mortality data) but also at factors that influence those outcomes such as health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and the physical environment.

  • Including the voice of the community through surveys, focus groups, or interviews as another important source of data. 

  • Analyzing community assets that are available to support action to improve health.

  • Presenting the data to stakeholders and the community.


Resources for Assessing Needs and Resources:

Visit the Table of Resources to download these tools:


General Assessment Information:

  • Wisconsin Guidebook on Improving the Health of Local Communities: "Assess” section

Primary Data Collection:

  • Listening to the Community: A Guide to Primary Data Collection

Secondary Data Collection:

  • Introduction to Recommended Core Data Set

  • Recommended Core Data for Initial Assessment and Prioritization
  • Instructions for Downloading the Communicable Disease Measure within the Core Data Set

  • Compendium of Data for Action Planning and Evaluation

Presenting Data to Stakeholders and Community Members:

  • Template PowerPoint Presentation: for communicating the findings of your community health assessment to stakeholders and community members

  • Template Fact Sheets: one page templates with an overview and space for local data. Available on 20 topics

Links to other community health improvement websites and resources:

  • The Wisconsin Division of Public Health Regional Offices provide technical assistance and training related to family and community health, communicable disease prevention and control, chronic disease prevention and health promotion, environmental health, and injury prevention.  Guidance on planning, implementing and evaluating community health improvement initiatives, including data collection, is available.

Continue to Focus on What's Important

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