STAGE 2. Analysing feasibility

What steps should be completed?

Step 3: Assess the community environment


The level of knowledge, and perceptions, of the people in a community vary according to how close to, or remote from, a problem they feel and their level of involvement. That is why it is difficult for all members of a community to share the same vision of the problem. Some authors1 call this "community capacity" and define it as "the ability of the community to define, evaluate, analyse and act on issues that concern their members".

Community knowledge and perceptions help or prevent an intervention from being carried out, so it is advisable to explore the information and vision that relevant people in the area have in questions including:

  • Drug use and its consequences.
  • Compliance with drug use regulations.
  • Sources on which they base their opinions.
  • Understanding of the actions carried out.
  • The kind of actions that should be carried out.
  • Involvement of different parts of the community in coping with drugs.
  • The degree of motivation to get involved in the intervention.

It is also useful to investigate the level of support from people relevant to your intervention. In other words, the extent to which they can and are willing to:

  • Collaborate with the intervention.
  • Encourage it.
  • Contribute their experience.

One Step@a Time suggests that you might expand this information in the "Assessment of structural capacities" section of this same step. See


1 Laverack, G. (2006). Evaluating community capacity: visual representation and interpretation. Community Development Journal. 4 (3): 266-276