Understanding the Community

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Guiding Principle # 4

Once information is organized in a coherent framework, community stakeholders begin to interpret it.

Findings from resident surveys, key informant interviews, Census Bureau data, and many other sources provide raw material about the community that needs to be organized and then interpreted. The interpretation process allows NORC program planners to make coherent meaning from disparate facts, opinions, and statistics and to reflect this back to stakeholders for further input and refinement.

A planned process allows all stakeholders to review the findings and to talk about what seems relevant to them and what does not. Broad agreement about the significance of what has been learned provides a platform for moving forward.

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