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Needs Assessment$
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David Royse, Michele Staton-Tindall, Karen Badger, and J. Matthew Webster

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195368789

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:royes/9780195368789.001.0001

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What Is Needs Assessment?

What Is Needs Assessment?

(p.3) 1 What Is Needs Assessment?
Needs Assessment

David Royse

Michele Staton‐Tindall

Karen Badger

J. Matthew Webster

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines definitions and various perspectives of the terms need and needs assessment. Need is a relative term that can have different meanings to various individuals and communities. The chapter teaches that there is not a single way to conceptualize needs assessment, rather the focus of a needs assessment effort can be directed specifically at the awareness of services, availability, accessibility, or acceptability of services. Knowledge about how clients or the community view an agency's services along these four foci improves service delivery and helps the agency to be more responsive and accountable. Needs assessments are part of a program planning development cycle that includes an evaluation of the impact of the intervention on the population with need. Social workers use needs assessments to secure resources to address macro problems, to assist in the modification of policy, to improve services, and to establish or strengthen partnerships with other agencies and organizations.

Keywords:   definition, expressed need, normative need, felt need, comparative need, awareness, availability, accessibility, acceptability

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