At the heart of every public health initiative, is the community. The community assessment process is thus no exception. That is the case given that all the efforts being put are towards the betterment of the community. As such, all decisions concerning assessment processes must lie with the community members and not with the frontiers of the programs. In essence, this discussion aims at establishing the reasons as to why this should be the case and not the other way round.
Primarily, the public health assessment process is subject to the decision of the community members because its success is dependent on the level of involvement of the community. As stated by Novick, Morrow, and Mays (2008) a successful public health assessment process must seek to put the community’s interests first. Consequently, this allows members of the community to be in the lead role of conducting the assessment rather than being the subjects of the process. For example, the individuals may become community representatives at the working committee where the decision-making process takes place. Clearly, with such a level of the community involvement, success is a surety for the assessment process.
Additionally, across every stage of the assessment process, the community’s say on issues matters most as opposed to the facilitator of the process. For instance, in the identification of the community’s concerns, the individual members of the society play a crucial role of stating their problems. The issues raised by the community members are the focuses of interest for the subsequent steps of the assessment process (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2005). With such an illustration, it is beyond doubt that community members’ decision is the driving force of this process.
In conclusion, this paper targeted at determining the reasons as to why the community members’ decision is the steering wheel that directs the public health assessment process. Indeed, from this discussion, it is clear that in the absence of the community decisions as the driving force, this process will lose its true meaning of making the community the center of focus. As such, it is high time that public health professionals consider the say of the community members if they are to attain positive outcomes from this initiative.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry,. (2005). Chapter 4: Involving and Communicating With the Community | PHA Guidance Manual. Atsdr.cdc.gov. Retrieved 24 February 2017, from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/hac/phamanual/ch4.html
Novick, L. F., Morrow, C. B., & Mays, G. P. (2008). Public health administration: Principles for population-based management. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Pub.