It is important that residents can participate in community planning and devise community development schemes. Residents are gaining increasing rights and skills to draw up plans swiftly. However, residents may misunderstand the provided information, because they do not have any community planning expertise. Furthermore, inadequate understanding and misinterpretation may cause disputes and reduce the degree of confidence and satisfaction. Promoting community development requires providing information in a way that enables residents to fully understand the issues. Then, residents can evaluate a scheme for themselves in regard of their own desired goals.This paper describes how residents evaluate community development schemes and how they alter their evaluation after being provided with relevant information and have gained an advanced understanding of the issue. We establish the factors that determine gaining an advanced understanding and consequently changing the evaluation and propose an assessment strategy for community development projects. This research consists of two experiments. We first determined the factor in a case study and then verified it. We analyzed the evaluations by individuals by weighting based on the importance of a community development scheme. In the first experiment, we organized a workshop for the residents of the O-okayama station area in Ota City in Tokyo and observed how residents evaluated a community development scheme from the workshop activities. That is, we extracted subjects’ initial evaluations (prior evaluation) and then provided them with information on the merit and demerit of the schemes. After that we extracted a second evaluation of the schemes from the subjects (posterior evaluation). A community development scheme includes assessing problems, setting goals, and developing a policy. The workshop also included consultative meetings with experts.We analyzed the results of the prior and posterior evaluations with a t-test. We considered that a decreasing variance of importance evaluation value means that the evaluation converges and an increasing variance of importance evaluation value means that the evaluation diverges. We established clarity of the scheme, individual profit, social norms, assumed term within which a project is completed, and the possibility of realizing a project as the factors that determine the evaluation for an advanced understanding of a community development scheme and made them the basis of our hypothesis.In the second experiment, to verify the hypothesis, we examined the effect each factor has on the scheme evaluation by using the design of experiments. The experiment was conducted by a using a five-way layout ANOVA. The subjects evaluated 100 schemes, to adjust the level of four of the factors: the clarity of the scheme, the social norms, the assumed term within which the scheme is completed, and the possibility of realizing the scheme. We compared the average evaluation values, adjusted them and extracted the schemes for use in this experiment. Then we set it up based on a profile description including situations, to adjust the level of a fifth factor, the individual profit. First, the subjects evaluated the importance of the schemes in nine stages by altering the level of the five factors (prior evaluation). Next, the subjects were given the advantages of all policies, the faults, effects, and dangers. After the subjects had deepened their understanding, they evaluated the importance of the policy in nine stages (posterior evaluation). Forty subjects participated in the experiment.As a result, we found that the determining factors were social norms and individual profit. The effect of these factors changed with the clarity of the scheme. That is, when the clarity was high, before gaining further understanding, the effect of the social norms and the individual profit was large. After expanding their knowledge, if the scheme was in line with social norms, a scheme that was perceived as difficult was evaluated as being applicable. On the other hand, when the clarity of a scheme was low, the effect of the individual profit increased as the subjects’ understanding deepened. Even if a scheme did not agree with the social norms, it was evaluated as easy to realize. Based on our results we found that a process that enables residents to understand the social norms and the individual profit of schemes should be introduced into strategic environmental assessment.