Selecting a Needs Assessment Design

David Royse, Michele Staton‐Tindall, Karen Badger and J. Matthew Webster

in Needs Assessment

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780195368789
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199863860 | DOI:

Series: Pocket Guides to Social Work Research Methods

 Selecting a Needs Assessment Design

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This chapter presents a range of needs assessment data collection methods organized by intensity and scientific rigor based on a needs assessment team's time, resources, and expertise. The chapter illustrates that choosing the right design is important because it guides the overall approach and structures the questions to be addressed, the data to be collected, the data analysis, and the conclusions and interpretations can be drawn from the data in the final report. Examples of needs assessment designs are discussed including the review of existing and secondary data sources (such as agency records or the US census), impressionistic approaches like focus groups and community forums, and prospective data like surveys and interviews. The chapter explains these methods and provides guidance concerning the strengths and weaknesses of the various needs assessment approaches.

Keywords: approach; surveys; focus groups; data collection; unobtrusive measures; sampling; resources

Chapter.  10250 words. 

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