Community auditing is often referred to interchangeably as asset mapping or resource mapping.
It is a type of inventorying or environmental scanning that builds system capacity to allocate resources efficiently and maximize a region's ability to serve those most in need.
What is Resource Mapping?
Community audits identify, categorize and source all of the for-fee and in-kind resources available in the community.
Using that inventory, it becomes a blueprint. Areas can align, coordinate and integrate how those assets or resources are deployed to achieve planned outcomes.
Mapping of available agency services, supportive capacity, community-based organization benefits (such as free glasses or shoes to indigent individuals), and program contacts within a community can maximize results and allocate costs more efficiently.
Why Map a Community's Assets?
It is particularly important for special populations, such as youth, who need a comprehensive set of services and support structures.
According to the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, "The community resource mapping process acknowledges that individuals, organizations, and local institutions all have the capacity to create real change in their communities, but that no agency can do it alone.
With increased accountability, tight budgets, resource shortages, and fragmented services, it is a sound decision for communities to encourage cross-agency and cross-systems coordination.
Insight into a community’s existing partnerships and programs, resource allocations and policies, and priorities and assets can contribute to its ability to evaluate its overall effectiveness in serving its youth with disabilities.
It can also support the creation of a strategic plan to improve the alignment, coordination, and, ultimately, delivery of services.
When combined with this community information, resource maps can provide a comprehensive picture of a community’s vision, goals, projects, and infrastructure.
In short, community resource mapping can help communities to accomplish a number of goals, including:
- Identifying new resources;
- Insuring that all youth have access to the resources they need;
- Avoiding duplication of services and resources;
- Cultivating new partnerships and relationships;
- Providing information across agencies that work with youth; and
- Encouraging collaboration."