Community Assessment

The Discovery Process
The Discovery Process involves entering the routines of a community to discuss with citizens issues relevant to their lives as they go about their days.

CSEPP’s approach to community assessment is rooted in our Discovery Process in which we enter the routines of the people who live in a particular community, describe the ways of life of residents, and devote time to being in local gathering places. While community assessments are increasingly undertaken by organizations as plan projects or design programs, many of these endeavors rely exclusively on door-to-door surveys and a handful of public meetings. While useful in certain applications, limiting an inquiry into a community to these formalized mechanisms restricts access to critical data needed for creating projects and programs truly aligned to the culture and desires of a place.

Each of the services below rely on a grounded understanding of the cultural features of a particular place or community. Culture includes more than holiday rituals but rather encompasses the values, beliefs, routines, and expectations that drive everyday life of people in a community.The Discovery Process is objective neutral, meaning that understanding these core cultural features of a community is a foundational practice regardless of the project’s outcomes. Whether we’re partnering with you to develop a comprehensive plan for your city or to restructure a community center, the Discovery Process opens doors to forging the informal/formal system alignment that leads to durable outcomes.

CSEPP offers three levels of community assessments:

Situational Assessments

Many times for industry in which time is of the essence, a Situational Assessment provides a brief but useful description of local communities and a heads-up on citizen issues which will affect the project.


Community Assessments

Many organizations will want a full, professional-level Community Assessment which provides for a thorough mapping of community assets, a social mapping of the informal networks and how they communicate, and institutional mapping of the organizations which have interest or responsibility in the community.


Social and Economic Analyses and Mitigation

The impacts of proposed major actions are analyzed for expected social and economic effects as per the requirements of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Also included are mitigation measures which from a professional standpoint are determined to be appropriate opportunities to reduce the level of negative impact or to enhance the level of positive impact.

Contact CSEPP about community assessments