Community Assessment and Gap Analysis
- Krystal Heinzen
- Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
Recently the US Census Bureau released new population estimates. The release includes 2014 County Population Data maps, and updated migration data. This may be of particular interest to programs in the process of updating the Community Assessment (CA). Data like this which supports program options, planning, services, and other organizational functions is essential to determining categories of families to serve. Monitoring the latest data-releases from the US Census Bureau is recommended as an ongoing function which can facilitate a less labor intensive CA update process for programs. It may seem cumbersome at the time, but this will save time and efforts in the long run.
In addition to having the latest data on hand for updates, the ongoing process of monitoring data-releases provides staff development opportunities in gathering and interpreting data. Development of these skills is a primary way that an organization may work to ensure that staff is prepared to provide valuable contributions in Gap Analysis and Strategic Planning.
Being able to look at information, data, and provide informed, professional feedback to the question, "What does this mean for our program?" is the primary objective of this type of staff development. Staff that can suggest direction to the Governing Body, suggest partnership priorities, or determine gaps and trends for analysis in the CA are invaluable to the process of writing elements of the five-year grants or updating the strategic plan.
The following is an article summarizing the latest information released by the US Census Bureau: http://www.governing.com/topics/urban/gov-2014-city-population-census-estimates-released.html.
Also visit http://www.census.gov/ to review the latest information release. Please also see TTAS’ latest information, news, and upcoming trainings at www.ttas.org. T/TAS is planning to add a new online training on Gap Analysis this coming fall, which will further discuss the use of data to support program plans.