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When you attempt to solve a complex social problem, it is important to elicit input from a diverse group of stakeholders, including those in formal positions (e.g., public officials, legislators, administrators of non-profit agencies, etc.) and those in the community who are most affected by the problem (e.g., service users, residents, etc.). The stakeholders should be able to offer differing perspectives on the cause of the problem and suggest solutions that have not been previously considered. Some stakeholders may play the role of an advocate, a consultant, or both while on the team. For example, a lawyer in the community may advocate for fair housing by attempting to influence local laws and policies while also consulting with others to provide legal expertise on the rights of renters.

To Prepare

  • Review the Learning Resources on identifying stakeholders for a community needs assessment team. Think about 8–10 stakeholders whom you would include on your community needs assessment team, the knowledge and expertise they would bring to the team, and the roles and responsibilities they would have.
  • Consider which stakeholders on the team would play the role of an advocate, which would play the role of a consultant, and which would play both roles.
  • Refine the Problem Statement. Refine your problem statement, based on what you learned from your peers, your Instructor, and/or the Learning Resources this week and in previous weeks.
  • Identify a Diverse Community Team. Using the internet and/or your connections from working in the community, identify approximately 8–10 cross-discipline stakeholders that you would propose for your team and explain why you selected each of them. Examples of stakeholders include but are not limited to an executive director of a shelter, a school administrator, a community health worker, a prison warden, a corporate business leader, and a community member with a stake in the problem. These stakeholders should be members of the community who are familiar with the problem and/or who are affected by the problem. They are also critical to the success of the community needs assessment. For each stakeholder that you selected, address the following:  
    • Describe the knowledge and expertise that each stakeholder provides.
    • Describe the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder. Be sure to indicate which stakeholders would play the role of an advocate, which would play the role of a consultant, and which would play both roles. Keep in mind that not all stakeholders will play these roles.