McKenzie_Ch_04 - Assessing Needs Chapter 4 Needs Assessment...

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Assessing Needs Chapter 4
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Needs Assessment May be the most critical step in planning Defined - “the process by which the program planner identifies and measures the gaps between what is & what ought to be” (Windsor et al., 1994, p. 63) “the process of determining, analyzing and prioritizing needs, and in turn, identifying and implementing solution strategies to resolve high-priority needs” (Altschuld & Witkin, 2000, p. 253) Also called - community analysis, community diagnosis, community assessment Key concept: identifying the needs of priority group & determining the degree to which they are met
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A needs assessment should answer the following: (Petersen & Alexander, 2001, p. 17) 1. Who is the priority population? 2. What are the needs of the priority population? 3. Which subgroups within the priority population have the greatest need? 4. Where are these subgroups located geographically? 5. What is currently being done to resolve identified needs? 6. How well have the identified needs been addressed in the past?
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Needs through the eyes of the - Planners referred to as service needs (practitioner-driven) Priority population referred to as service demands (consumer-based) Possible outcomes of a needs assessment Service needs Service demands #1 Service needs Service demands #2 Service needs Service demands #3
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Acquiring Needs Assessment Data Types of data Primary - data you collect which answer unique questions related to your specific needs assessment Secondary - data already collected by someone else (for another reason) & available for your use
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Means of Gathering Primary Data Single-step or Cross-Sectional Surveys (point in time) From Priority population Significant others Opinion leaders - well respected & well informed Key informants - well informed Multistep Survey - Delphi technique Useful for - Identifying goals & objectives for a group Examine possible alternatives Reveal group values Gather information
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The Delphi Process Create 1st instrument & pretest Choose participants Send 1st instrument with cover letter & envelop Synthesize & analyze responses Create 2nd instrument Send 2nd instrument
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