Self-determination and self-reliance (SDR) are concepts that lie at the very core of human development and thus are pertinent to group and community development. SDR implies the ability and skill to negotiate with external environments to influence the terms of interdependence. Our challenge as evaluators has been to identify core elements that are reflective of the transition from dependency to self-reliance. A further challenge has been to develop a process of investigation that has relevance across various communities. To meet this challenge, we have identified an approach to monitoring and assessing the processes and outcomes associated with the movement of communities from dependency to self-determination and self-reliance. Also, we present a Self-Determination/Reliance (SDR) model constructed on the essential SDR dimensions of accountability, decision making, information, knowledge and skills, and resource mobilization. Critical movement along each of these dimensions indicates progress toward sustainability of community-based human service projects, programs, and initiatives.