The goal of a community assessment is to assess the problems and needs of a community as well as its strengths and resources. With an assessment in place a community is able to commit resources and energy in the areas where they will be most effective. A community assessment is a tool to help different people and organizations with varying missions and objectives to work together for mutual advantage. Many organizations conduct this type of assessment for their own purposes; however, these assessments are typically of limited utility. The NCR 594 Project aims to conduct a comprehensive community assessment in every community it serves.
Because a community is a continuously changing and evolving organism, a community assessment must also change; if not constantly, then at the very least regularly. An assessment completed last year, or even last month could be hopelessly out of date. Using an out of date assessment tool can lead to the waste of time, efforts, and resources.
The conduct of a comprehensive community assessment takes some level of planning and administrative skill, as well as a support system that can sustain the assessment. The goal of the NCR 594 Project is to establish a community based 501(c)3 corporation when the available people and resources have reached a critical mass. This organization will administer a community-based participatory research program that can maintain and support the community assessment on a continuous basis.