Community Strengths and Weaknesses

Simple visual aid to differentiate between strengths and weaknesses of a community. pdf download

Goal: To establish strengths and weaknesses of the community.

Audience: Residents (focus groups).

What you need:
– Card
– Pins
– Glue
– Drawing implements
– Notebook
– Camera
– Key cards
– Activity board


This tool is designed to be useful in focus groups differentiated by age and gender, specifically looking at community scale, but this can also extend to the city scale.

The main avenue for understanding strengths and weaknesses is through the activity board which is made up of a +ve and -ve column.  Key cards with visuals of the various aspects of the community found during the ‘Getting to Know the Context’ stage are placed around the edge of the activity board. People in the focus group are asked to locate each item into a +ve or -ve column through negotiated discussions with their peers. Each participant is then given stickers and asked to put them on the key cards that are the most important issues, in their personal opinion and should be  focused on in future work.  Throughout the exercise it is important to keep the discussion free flowing and ensure that information about how the various items discussed affect individuals and why they think they are a higher priority than others.



Step 1: Establish key elements of the community.

Step 2: Create key cards.

Step 3: Create activity board.

Step 4: Split participants into focus groups.

Step 5: Set up activity boards.

Step 6: Get participants to group cards, discussing their reasons as they go.

Step 7: Ask participants to prioritise using stickers or a marker – one sticker/mark per item.

Step 8: Ask participants for any final comments.