Community Readiness: A Model for Sustainable, Efficient Community Change
The Community Readiness Model was developed to assist researchers, practitioners and lay persons by having a methodology for efficiently assessing the readiness of a community to accept innovation, mobilize to meet community social or environmental challenges and/or to change practices which are not beneficial to individuals and the community. Assessment along a nine stage readiness continuum is simple, using responses from key stakeholders to questions addressing six dimensions: Existing Community Efforts, Knowledge of the Efforts, Knowledge of the Issue, Leadership, Community Climate and Community Resources. The process of involving the community in addressing local issues with local resources is fundamental within the model. The Community Readiness Model includes suggested generic strategies appropriate for each level of readiness that can be interpreted and implemented within the unique culture of the target community, be it a town or village, an organization, a service delivery system or any other such identifiable entity. The model transfers easily from one issue to another and each application builds capacity to more efficiently and effectively address local issues within a community. The Community Readiness Model has been utilized to address a wide variety of topics including transportation issues; environmental issues; health and safety issues such as HIV/AIDS testing and prevention, domestic violence reduction and prevention, and substance use prevention; policy development and implementation and a host of others in a range of organizations and communities from rural indigenous to industrialized cities. An overview of the model will be presented.
Keywords: Community readiness, Capacity building, Change model
Dr. Ruth Edwards
Director, Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research, Colorado State University
Project Manager, Department of Public Works, City of Greeley, Colorado