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Needs Assessment

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  1. Needs Assessment • Another evaluation approach • What is a “need” • Approaches to assessing needs • Examples

  2. “I need a thneed”, the Lorax • Like/Dislike, Preference • Need • Want • Demand • Willingness to Pay

  3. "need" is a value judgement that some group has a problem that can (should) be addressed.

  4. Whose value judgement? • normative need - an experts opinion, • felt need - client self-assessment, • expressed need -(behavior)- use or non-use of services/facilities), • comparative need -relative to a reference or peer group.

  5. Kinds of Needs • Outcomes not = expectations (standards) • At risk : groups whose conditions put them at greater risk of problems • Maintenance needs, e.g alcohol, drug rehab

  6. Three Models • Discrepancy (gap) = desired - existing • Goal setting - what we want • Performance measurement - what is • Discrepancy identification • Marketing - determine needs and wants of target markets and assess ways (4P's) of meeting them • Select target markets • Choose competitive position • Develop effective marketing mix • Decision-making models- MAUT/I-P

  7. Need = difference between what someone wants and what exists Applied mostly to public programs Often in context of resource allocations across target populations or regions Relative needs - indices, priorities

  8. Ex1: SCORP Approach • Measure supply of facilities in region • Measure “Demand” or desired use • Difference = Need • Forecast Future Supply or Demand to assess future need

  9. Ex 2: NRPA Open Space Standards for Communities • 10 acres of parkland per 1000 population • 10% of land area in parks • $8 operating expense per capita

  10. Problems with Standards • Minimums, Maximums or Ideal? • Must be revised to fit local situation • Origin usually dubious • Tend to become performance measures rather than guidelines • Often misused

  11. Ex 3. Community Needs Survey or Market Survey • Qualitative or Quantitative • Attitudes or Behavior • Objective or subjective measures • Direct or Indirect Approaches

  12. Central Cities 10/acres/1000

  13. Central Cities 10% of Land

  14. Central Cities $8 Operating per capita

  15. Meeting all 3

  16. Mich SCORP 1985User-Oriented Facilities

  17. MI Local Park Acres- 85

  18. Hit a Homer • Number 60

  19. Steps in Needs Study • Identify users and uses of the study • Describe target population and service environment • Identify Needs (propose alternatives) • Problems • Solutions • Assess importance of each need/alternative (evaluation of alternatives) • Communicate results/Implement