UCLA CENTER FOR HEALTH POLICY RESEARCH
Section 1: Asset Mapping
Asset mapping provides information about the strengths and resources of a community and can help uncover solutions. Once community strengths and resources are inventoried and depicted in a map, you can more easily think about how to build on these assets to address community needs and improve health. Finally, asset mapping promotes community involvement, ownership, and empowerment.
What is a community asset?
A community asset or resource is anything that improves the quality of community life.
• The capacities and abilities of community members.
• A physical structure or place. For ...view middle of the document...
You want to mobilize and empower the community. If you involve different community members in constructing the asset map, the process itself can be an organizing tool. For example, mapping local public services and identifying the dollars spent per community member can mobilize residents to lobby city or county council members to improve local public services.
Planning Asset Mapping
Identifying and mapping assets in your community can be easier than you think. The following are the steps to create an asset map.
1.1 Define community boundaries
The first step is to define your community’s boundaries. Remember that geographic boundaries of cities or towns do not always reflect citizens’ perceptions of their community or neighborhood. Decide what streets or landmarks are your boundaries. Use your partnership and residents to decide.
1. 2 Identify and involve partners
Find people and organizations that share your interests. It is also important to involve people and organizations that have different community networks and knowledge about the neighborhood (its resources, residents and problems). Involve key people with a stake in your issue. Finally, involve enough people—community residents, organization staff, or volunteers—to complete all the activities needed to finish the asset map.
1.3 Determine what type of assets to include
There are lots of different types of assets. The most obvious are money and access to economic resources. Others include physical assets (buildings), knowledge and skills, political connections, legitimacy in the community, and access to the public (such as the media and clergy). Identify any specific skills or assets needed to address the issue on which you are focusing. For example, if you are looking at assets around physical activity among children, you may want to identify parks and recreation centers, YMCAs, athletic clubs or leagues, recreation classes at community colleges or after-school fitness programs. Link your purpose with the kinds of assets you want to identify.
Define community boundaries Identify and involve partners Determine what type of assets to include
1.4 List the assets of groups, List the assets of individuals, Organize assets on a map
1.4 List the assets of groups*
Make an inventory of all the groups (associations, organizations, and institutions) in your community.
A. Begin by creating a list of those groups that are known. Use your partnership to
help add to your list.
B. Use other sources of information. These can include:
* The yellow pages.
* Local neighborhood/city directories, published for your community.
* Lists of neighborhood businesses. Ask your Chamber of Commerce.
* Published lists of organizations or social service directories. For example, the United Way publishes local directories with information on local organizations.
* Lists of organizations, which are not generally published. Community resource guides produced by...