Community readiness is the capacity of a community to implement programs, policies, and other changes designed to address a social issue.
The Community Readiness Assessment gathers information about readiness from community members and leverages the results for the development of strategies to increase capacity and community support to address the targeted issue. The results from a readiness assessment can be used to build a sense of urgency to motivate the community to address a specific topic.
There are several reasons why conducting a readiness assessment is important. Community readiness is issue-specific and it is important to know where the community falls on the issue you are working to address. Many efforts start with the assumption that everyone is at the same readiness level. However, sectors within the community may have different degrees of readiness, requiring a unique strategy for each sector in order to achieve success. Taking a closer look at a community’s starting point may both speed up the process and broaden involvement, and subsequent satisfaction with the results.