Amanda Stafford is a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Public Administration. She is currently working as a Community-Campus Partnership Intern with the United Way of Caswell County.
Over the past four months, the Community-Campus Partnership (CCP) and the United Way of Caswell County (UWCC) have been working together to compile a comprehensive community assessment directory for Caswell County. The project is driven by the need, expressed by local officials, to have better access to community data and indicators, across local government agencies, nonprofits etc.
The comprehensive community assessment in Caswell County will benefit local leaders by:
- Increasing accessibility of data and information on trends for grant applications and community decision making
- Reducing duplication of efforts when gathering community information
- Connecting local government, nonprofit and community agencies in Caswell County
In recent years, a number of assessments and studies have been conducted on behalf of local government agencies, non-profit organizations and foundations across the county. Due to limited agency resources, however, many of these studies have been collecting dust, rather than informing community decisions. Shannon White, planning coordinator for the UWCC, in conjunction with other local agency leaders wanted to change this practice by conducting a ‘census’ of sorts, of all of the plans, etc. that existed around the County.
When completed, the comprehensive community assessment will not be proprietary and will be made available to all local government agencies and community organizations. It is hoped that it will be used to inform decision making regarding the establishment of priority focus areas, providing the key information necessary for the successful development, implementation and evaluation of future programs in Caswell County.