Module 5: Conducting Community Service Assessments in Native Communities

Goal of Module 5:

To provide Community Services Assessment steps, tools, and resources for the development of an HIV/AIDS prevention intervention program.

This module contains the fundamentals for the systematic gathering of knowledge to better understand the needs and strengths in your community as they relate to HIV. The knowledge gathered will help to build a strengths-based and community-driven HIV prevention intervention program which responds to community needs. The model used is based on the Community Services Assessment (CSA). This module will take you through the steps of a CSA: needs assessment, resource inventory, and gap analysis.

9 CSA Final Steps

This module helps you create and conduct a CSA to aid in planning your HIV prevention intervention program.

It includes information on:

The final steps of the Community Services Assessment are:

a. Dissemination
b. Evaluation
c. Implementation

a. Dissemination

It is important to share the final report with the people who were involved in the process, both in the planning phases and in the collection of data. This can be done through your Planning Committee. The partnership planning committee will help to provide community control and feedback to make certain the CSA process, dissemination, and use is consistent with the community’s wishes and needs. Steps to guarantee partnership planning committee inclusion are:

1) Ensure that the partnership planning committee is included in any discussions of sharing data, ownership of the data, and decisions made around final report dissemination.

2) Share the preliminary drafts of the report with the partnership planning committee to get input and recommendations before you release the final version.

3) Gather the partnership planning committee’s feedback on the intended uses of the final report and its recommendations.

This is also a good time to formally thank those involved for taking part in the process.

b. Evaluation

At each step you have asked yourself and your partners to reflect on the CSA process. One of the final steps is to conduct an overall self-reflection. The last step in the CSA process is self-reflection. It is important to spend some time evaluating the process as a group. This will help to identify the parts of the process that went well and those that could be improved. It will give you the opportunity to congratulate yourself and the chance to learn from your mistakes and successes.

Exercise: Evaluation

  • Did you get the information that you wanted to get?
  • Was the information gathered useful?
  • What was the community’s response to the information?
  • What about the process worked well?
  • What about the process did not work well? How would you do things differently if you could do it again?

c. Implementation/Implications

Once you write the plan and share the information, the action really begins. Based on the findings and recommendations of your plan, you may want to seek changes in the way that services and/or programs have been offered—on the local, state, or national level. Beware of roadblocks: the plan may run into opposition from locals, political leaders or legislators, and perhaps from the public. Keeping community leaders informed about the work and the findings throughout the process should minimize local opposition. Leadership, communication, and education will help you advocate for changes to improve your community.