Regional Profile - Advantages and Limitations

files/images_static/pros.jpg Collecting the information required for a regional profile can have important benefits for the organisation that undertakes or initiates the regional community profile. It can:

  • Help the organisation to better understand the region in which it is working
  • Introduce the organisation to the people living in the region or increase its profile and awareness of its services
  • Identify issues, problems and needs of residents or clients living in the region enhance the skills of the organisation in working with the communities living in the region and make it more effective in bringing about desired changes
  • Identify key individuals or influential groups within the region or community who can make useful allies (or protagonists)
  • Foster cooperation amongst different agencies and groups of people (or, if poorly handled, set them apart competing for scarce resources)
  • Help prevent wastage of human, material and financial resources by helping to ensure actions are appropriate and effective
  • Assist the organisation to effectively target its efforts to a specific group in a suitable manner
  • Foster community participation, involving people from a wide cross section of the community working on common problems in the region
  • Help to monitor the results of a particular programme or action, and assist the organisation to take corrective or preventative action as required
  • Regional profiles require hard-data and cannot be based upon assertions. Gathering such data is both a costly and time-consuming exercise
  • Data accuracy can severely limit the value and use of regional profiles
  • A comprehensive regional profile requires a lot of data too be gathered, however, data can be gathered in a modular approach to reduce costs
  • Storage, access and presentation of regional profiles requires effective presentation skills in order to avoid presenting too much unnecessary information and data
  • Unless the data is made generally available the benefits of the regional profile will be limited only to the planning unit
  • Updating and maintaining the accuracy of the data has to be done regularly if the regional profiles are to remain current