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National Center on Secondary Education and Transition

Community Resource Mapping


Capacity building: Capacity building is the strengthening of people, organizations, and communities.

Community resource mapping: Community Resource Mapping is a system-building tool or process for aligning resources and policies with system goals, strategies, and expected outcomes.

Environmental scan: An environmental scan involves an analysis of both the external and internal issues that are likely to affect resources for an organization, agency, or program.

Goal: A goal is the final purpose or aim toward which a group or person strives.

Interagency team: A group of people who collaborate and coordinate service delivery among participating agencies in an effort to maximize team member benefit and contribution and identify and respond in an organized manner to barriers and gaps in service.

Partner: Partners include all stakeholders or anyone who may impact a project and agree to a set of project goals.

Policy or practice alignment mapping: Policy alignment mapping determines whether current resources support state or local policies, practices, and goals.

Postschool outcomes: Postschool outcomes are the life circumstances of youth after high school including participation in higher education, employment, independent living, and community involvement.

Resource: Resources for community mapping resources include available financial support, human resources, technical assistance, in-kind resources, academic and technical standards, organizations that share similar goals and objectives, youth and adult services, and supportive policies.

Resource mapping: Resource mapping focuses on identifying, aligning, and leveraging community assets and resources that can be used for building stronger communities.

Stakeholders: Stakeholders are those organizations and individuals who have an interest or “stake” in an issue. Community resource mapping stakeholders include, but are not limited to: youth, parents, business leaders, community service providers, educators, workforce professionals, and local and federal government agencies.

Strategic action plan: A strategic action plan helps to provide direction and focus for a group or organization. It points to specific results that are to be achieved and establishes a course of action for achieving them. It also helps the various work units within an organization to align themselves with common goals.

Vision: A vision is the direction or dream a group aspires to achieve in any given time span.

Workforce development: Workforce development coordinates education, business, and government programs and policies to promote satisfactory and sustained employment opportunities for individuals as well as achieving organizational goal-oriented success.

Table of Contents

Setting the Stage
Federal Context for Aligning Resources
State-Level Context for Collaborating
Implications for Mapping Resources at the Community Level
How to Use This Issue of Essential Tools

What is Resource Mapping?
How Resource Mapping Can Help Transform Your Community
The Mapping Process

Step 1: Pre-Mapping
Establishing a Task Force to Guide the Process
Setting a Vision
Setting Goals
Communicating Continuously
Reflection Questions

Step 2: Mapping
Identifying Resources
Developing Mapping Tools and Strategies
Gathering Information
Determining the Meaning of the Information
Communicating and Using the Mapping Results
Reflection Questions

Step 3: Taking Action
Developing an Action Plan
Achieving Consensus
Implementing the Action Plan
Sharing the Action Plan
Reflection Questions

Step 4: Maintaining, Sustaining, and Evaluating Mapping Efforts
Evaluating Progress
Maintaining Momentum
Sustaining the Effort
Reflection Questions





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Citation: Crane, K., & Mooney, M. (2005). Essential tools: Community resource mapping. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration, National Center on Secondary Education and Transition.

Permission is granted to duplicate this publication in its entirety or portions thereof. Upon request, this publication will be made available in alternative formats. For additional copies of this publication, or to request an alternate format, please contact: Institute on Community Integration Publications Office, 109 Pattee Hall, 150 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, (612) 624-4512, icipub@umn.edu.

This document was published by the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET). NCSET is supported through a cooperative agreement #H326J000005 with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education Programs, and no official endorsement should be inferred. The University of Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition are equal opportunity employers and educators.