Measuring Impact & Cost Benefits

Measuring Community Development: Two Fundamental Aspects

Gabriel Chanan, 2016

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Measuring Community Development, Two Fundamental Aspects

Provides a selection of questions from tried and tested sources for measuring, in a given locality or neighbourhood, (a) residents’ levels of community activity, and (b) strength of the local community sector. these two factors are directly affected by community development practice and should be able to show objective change year on year.

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Previous work

A powerful evidence base shows that community development can increase community activity, confidence, networks and trust – and that these have a positive impact on health and wellbeing at neighbourhood level.

Working with health and other local partners, HELP uses its research-based Outcomes and Cost Benefit Model to establish a set of baseline indicators that reflect key issues recognised by residents and local agencies.

The baseline includes an assessment of the extent and effectiveness of community activity in the neighbourhood.

These are the factors which are boosted by community development to improve health and wellbeing.

Once the baselines are in place, measurement of change can be undertaken sustainably by local bodies, or as part of an evaluation process led by HELP.

Qualitative evaluation through Focus Groups of local residents and service providers can provide in-depth understanding of the nature of local change, and show how pressure on health resources is alleviated by growing community strength.

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