Checklist for a Community Assessment
I. Set the date
It is important to set a date so that everyone (the task force or original group of interested participants) can be in agreement and put in on their calendars so that the process can begin.
It is important that the date be set with a LBC, consultant team member who will be present the day of the assessment.
Setting a date helps the team progress forward knowing the time frame for accomplishment. It is too difficult to try to make preliminary arrangements back and forth to set a date. As long as the original team members can agree upon a date then the process will develop freely.
II. Brainstorming Session
Phase 1 --Create a list of agencies to be interviewed.
Many area Chamber of Commerce offices have guides or books available listing agencies already in place. These can be an extremely helpful tool.
Be sure to ask team members to think of agencies that they have learned of because of personal experience. Many times we forget about agencies that we have researched and already have knowledge of simply because of our own familiarity.
Phase 2 --
Appoint a person to begin contacting the agencies to set appointments for the CNA target date. (This can be done by more than one person but be careful not to duplicate lists. Make sure it is clear who will contact which agencies.)
Appoint a person to make calling cards to be used the day of the assessment.
Cards need to contain:
Address (physical address for the interview & mailing address if different)
Name of Contact Person
Map or suggested directions
Interview time (either 10:00 AM or 11:00 AM)
Appoint a person to produce and mail letter with sample questionnaire to agencies. (These will need to be mailed 3-5 days before the interview. This serves as a reminder of the appointment as well as providing the contact person a chance to prepare for the interview. LBC consultant will provide Sample letter.)
Decide on a location to meet the day of the assessment. (Church or Associational Office)
**The same person can do all of these tasks in smaller communities.
**In larger areas a small group can work effectively, but clear communication between these persons is vital.
**It can be helpful if this smaller group can meet together in an office where 2-3 phone lines are available and get the calls made and appointments set at one time.
III. Enlist Workers
Once the date is set, all team members can begin discussing the CNA with potential interviewers and get commitments.
Interviewers should include pastors, other church staff persons, lay people, and associational staff persons.
Interviewers will be trained the morning of the assessment by the LBC consultant. (The interview process is easy and is non-threatening.)
Interviews will be done in pairs. Two people will go together and each pair will do two interviews.
***Keep in mind while setting appointments that having an equal number of appointments set for the 10:00 section and the 11:00 section is best.
***It is helpful to have a person familiar with the area to help put appointments together. (i.e. An appointment at 101 Main St, 11:00 should best be handled by the pair doing the interview at 107 Main St. at 10:00. ---This sounds easy but maybe the most difficult task of the entire process. It just helps to be organized enough that pairs are not crossing each others tracks and going from one side of town to the other.)
It may be helpful for the persons calling to set the interviews to think ahead with a map in hand or a person extremely familiar with the area. This can help in planning but does not need to become overwhelming.
Let the contact person know that a reminder will be sent a few days before the interview date, but don't tell them that the questions will be sent. Sometimes the interviewer will rather simply fill out the questions and pass it along instead actually completing the interview.
Be sure to write down all the information concerning one interview before making another call. It can become quite confusing trying to keep it separated in your mind after talking to so many people.
Be aware that the consultant will offer suggestions during the training about how to handle certain questions or circumstances that may come up during the interview in order to help the volunteer interviewers be more comfortable with the process.