Community Needs Assessments are an important part of planning for your prevention work. As a prevention education specialist, you need to know what is happening in your community in order to know what prevention strategies and curricula are going to best address their needs. There are countless ways to assess your community, depending on how your define community (physical location, population, age, language, etc.).

Here are some tools to help get you started.

Indiana (Karen Duncan –
RPE Community Assessment of Primary Prevention Initiatives (INCASA)

Massachusetts (Mark Bergeron-Naper -
DPH/RPE Assessment for Rape Prevention and Education Activities in Selected Massachusetts Communities

Michigan (Jessica L. Grzywacz -
Asset Mapping Tool

North Dakota (Jennifer Obinna -
North Dakota Community Readiness and Prevention System Capacity Assessment (2011)

Virginia (Liz Cascone -
Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance resources:
Description: Community Needs and Resources Assessment (2009)
Needs and Resources Assessment Example (2011)
Needs and Resources Assessment Checklist (2009)

Community Checklist for Reaching Underserved Communities (Debby Tucker & Christina Walsh, NCDSV 1999)
Plested, B.A., Edwards, R.W., & Jumper-Thurman, P. (2006, April).

Community Readiness: A handbook for successful change.
Fort Collins, CO: Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research.

** Special thanks to Jennifer Grove, the Prevention Outreach Coordinator at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center for pulling this information together! You can contact her at: