The Missouri Community Action Agencies are charged with recognizing and dealing with the problems of poverty in our state. A critical tool used by the Community Action Agencies to better understand current local conditions is the Comprehensive Community Needs Assessment (CCNA). This assessment relies on key sources of information gathered from a variety of sources used to determine need in each region across the state. The assessments are conducted periodically, and have served to support the development of plans of action. However, the Missouri Association for Community Action (MACA) believes there are ways to improve the quality and timeliness of these assessments and, at the same time, reduce the burdens of compilations currently placed on regional staff. The University of Missouri Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems (CARES) is well positioned to jointly address the subject of improving CCNAs. CARES routinely deals with the data collected in the assessments, possess the technical skills to support an innovative approach to CCNAs, and are familiar with the issues addressed.