A coalition should map its issues onto existing community concerns through an assessment process. Many community problems have alcohol, tobacco and other drug use as a major contributing factor. The data and understanding gained through a community assessment can clearly demonstrate this connection and help the coalition show the community and its leaders the important relationship between anti-drug coalition work and the community’s stated priorities.

In summary, listening is the anchor to community mobilization, and coalitions use the process called community assessment to accomplish five important tasks. Community Assessment helps coalitions:

1. Establish priorities

2. Diagnose root causes

3. Locate resources for action

4. Name and frame goals

5. Determine Strategic role

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