9780803958104

Planning and Conducting Needs Assessments : A Practical Guide

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780803958104

  • ISBN10:

    0803958102

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1995-09-07
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc

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Summary

"Sometimes a book appears on your desk that successfully defines a field. You look at the book and say "thank you." Planning and Conducting Needs Assessments is such a book. . . . This book is clearly grounded in program planning and is not an afterthought or add-on to some other field. . . . I am excited to see this book appear in print. It clearly fills a niche that has been empty for some time: a practical approach to learning about and conducting needs assessments. . . . This is a marvelous book that should make a significant contribution to the field." --From the Foreword by Nick Eastmond, Utah State University "While it has the depth and breadth to be used in a classroom, Planning and Conducting Needs Assessments is written simply and directly enough to be a hands-on guide for needs assessment users and practitioners. The framework proposed by the authors is excellent in that it is readily understood and focuses attention on the most important details/issues in needs assessment practice. The fact that they also present an explanation of so many tools, including examples, makes the book required reading for anyone intending to plan or contract for a needs assessment." --John Theiss, Director of Planning and Evaluation, Texas

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii
Preface xv
PART I: Planning and Managing the Needs Assessment 1(100)
A Three-Phase Model of Needs Assessment
3(17)
Some Background on Needs Assessment
4(3)
Point of View of the Book
7(2)
Strengths of this Book
8(1)
How to use this Book
8(1)
Needs---Core Concepts
9(5)
Definitions of Need
9(1)
Definition of NA
9(1)
Target Groups and Levels of Need
10(3)
The Idea of a System
13(1)
A Three-Phase Plan for Assessing Needs
14(2)
Contexts of Needs Assessments
16(1)
Planning and Conducting the NA
16(2)
Key Factors in Conducting NAs
17(1)
A Caution Before Beginning
17(1)
Summary
18(2)
Phase 1---Preassessment
20(20)
Purpose of the Preassessment Phase
20(2)
A Two-Session Preassessment Process
22(3)
Planning for Session 1
22(1)
Procedures
22(2)
Interim Period Between Sessions
24(1)
Procedures
25(1)
Functions of the Preassessment Phase
25(1)
Managing the Preassessment Phase
26(3)
The Needs Assessment Committee (NAC---Planning Group)
26(2)
Memorandum of Agreement
28(1)
Group Ownership
29(1)
Preliminary Data Gathering---What is Known
29(1)
Designing Phase 2---Assessment
30(2)
Boundary Considerations for Phase 2
32(3)
Rationale for Doing a Subsystem NA
32(1)
Steps in a Departmentalized (Subsystem) NA
33(2)
Political and Contextual Factors to Consider for Phase 2
35(2)
Designing an Evaluation Plan for the Needs Assessment
37(1)
Needs and Solutions in Perspective The Case of the Pokey Elevators---A Cautionary Tale
38(1)
Summary
39(1)
Phase 2---Assessment
40(35)
Tasks for Implementing Phase 2
40(2)
Explanation of Steps 1 Through 5
42(4)
Gathering Data
46(7)
Types and Sources of Data
46(1)
Methods of Gathering Data
47(3)
Criteria for Selecting Methods
50(3)
Choosing Respondents
53(1)
Sociolinguistic and Cultural Factors
53(4)
Language
53(1)
Cultural and Ethnic Differences in Communication
54(3)
Individual Differences
57(1)
Analyzing, Collating, and Interpreting the Data
57(4)
Conducting Needs Assessments in Different Contexts
61(12)
The Planning Context
61(4)
The Evaluation Context
65(1)
The Cyclical NA Context
66(2)
NA for a Management Information System (MIS)---Ongoing
68(1)
The Collaborative (Interagency) NA
69(4)
Summary
73(2)
Phase 3---Postassessment
75(26)
Major Tasks for Phase 3
76(13)
Set Priorities on Needs
76(7)
Select Solution Strategies
83(4)
Propose an Action Plan
87(1)
Evaluate the Quality of the Needs Assessment
87(1)
Prepare Reports and Briefings
88(1)
Techniques for Phase 3
89(10)
Risk Assessment
89(1)
A Generic Process for Determining Priorities
90(2)
A Group Process For Phase 3 Decision Making
92(2)
Force Field Analysis
94(2)
A Needs Assessment Using Force Field Analysis
96(3)
Summary
99(2)
PART II: Methods for Conducting a Needs Assessment 101(174)
Records and Social Indicators
103(25)
Social Indicators
104(3)
Sources of Social Indicators
105(1)
Key Questions to Ask Before Using Records and Social Indicators
106(1)
Unobtrusive Measures and Observations
107(2)
Description of the Measures
107(1)
Advantages and Disadvantages of Unobtrusive Measures
108(1)
Use of Existing Agency or Institution Records
109(7)
Sources of Records
109(1)
Using Existing Records
110(1)
Caveats Regarding Existing Records
111(2)
Some Applications to NA
113(3)
Using Records in Cyclical Needs Assessments and Management Information Systems
116(1)
Modification or Creation of Record-Keeping Systems
117(1)
Rates-Under-Treatment (RUT)
118(1)
Using Existing Databases
119(5)
The Census and Other Large Databases
119(5)
Mapping and Indirect Estimation
124(2)
Mapping
124(1)
Indirect Estimation
125(1)
Considerations for the Needs Assessor
126(1)
Summary
127(1)
Surveys, Interviews, and the Critical Incident Technique
128(25)
Questionnaires
128(3)
Advantages
129(1)
Disadvantages
129(1)
Appropriate Uses of Surveys for NA
130(1)
Planning the Survey Questionnaire
131(7)
Selecting Target Population and Level of Need
131(1)
Selecting the Sample
131(1)
Determining Appropriate Content and Types of Items
132(1)
Determining Methods of Distribution
133(1)
Designing the Questionnaire
134(1)
Designing Item Formats and Scales
135(1)
Budget Allocation Method
136(2)
Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales
138(4)
Determining the Method of Data Processing and Analysis
142(3)
The Interview
145(5)
Planning for the Interview
146(2)
Conducting the Interview
148(1)
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Face-to-Face Interview
149(1)
Telephone Interviews
150(1)
Critical Incident Technique
150(1)
General Issues for all Types of Surveys
151(1)
Summary
152(1)
Basic Group Processes
153(33)
Purposes of Group Processes in Needs Assessment
154(1)
General Features of Effective Group Processes: The Needs Assessment Committee as a Task Group
155(4)
Structuring the Process
155(1)
Leadership
156(1)
Involvement of Participants
157(1)
Achieving Consensus
158(1)
Recording Group Ideas
158(1)
Follow-Up Procedures
159(1)
Three Group Processes Frequently Used in Needs Assessment
159(2)
The Community Forum
161(6)
Planning
161(3)
Conducting the Forum
164(1)
Follow-Up
165(2)
The Nominal Group Technique
167(4)
Planning
167(2)
Conducting the NGT
169(1)
Follow-Up
170(1)
The Focus Group Interview
171(8)
Planning
172(3)
Conducting the Interview
175(1)
Follow-Up
176(1)
Examples of FGI Use
177(2)
Combining Group Techniques
179(1)
Issues in Using Group Processes and Some Tips for Maximizing Success
180(5)
Adequate Planning
180(1)
Selection of the Group Leader
181(1)
Selection of Participants
182(1)
Working with Different Personality Types
183(1)
Premature Closure of Discussion
184(1)
Dealing with Hidden Agendas, Grievances, and BIAS
184(1)
Summary
185(1)
Specialized Survey and Group Techniques for Data Gathering and Analysis
186(24)
Dacum
189(4)
The Dacum Process
190(2)
An Example of Dacum
192(1)
Advantages and Disadvantages of Dacum
192(1)
The Mailed Delphi Survey
193(9)
The Process
194(5)
Some Examples of the Mailed Delphi Survey
199(3)
The Group of Modified Delphi Process
202(1)
An Example of the Modified Delhi
202(1)
Electronic Groups
203(2)
Concept Mapping
205(3)
Summary
208(2)
Future-Oriented Needs Assessment Procedures
210(29)
Strategic Planning
211(6)
Examples of Strategic Planning
216(1)
Scenarios
217(7)
An Example of a Scenario
219(5)
Cross-Impact Analysis
224(2)
Future Wheels
226(4)
An Example of a Future Wheel
228(2)
Trend Analysis
230(7)
Summary
237(2)
Causal Analysis
239(36)
Uses of Causal Analysis in Needs Assessment
239(4)
Methods of Causal Analysis for NA
243(1)
Fishboning
243(6)
Procedure
244(2)
Uses of the Data
246(2)
Advantages and Disadvantages of Fishboning
248(1)
Cause and Consequence Analysis
249(3)
Procedure
249(1)
Uses of the Data---Setting Priorities
250(1)
Advantages and Disadvantages of CCA
251(1)
Fault Tree Analysis
252(17)
Background and Purpose of FTA
252(1)
FTA Methodology---General Principles
253(1)
Qualitative Analysis---Construction of the Tree
254(1)
Principles of Fault Tree Construction
255(11)
Quantitative Analysis
266(1)
Using FTA to Enhance the Likelihood of Success in Meeting Needs
267(2)
Applications of Causal Analysis
269(2)
Advantages and Disadvantages of FTA
270(1)
Use of Causal Analysis in Managing and Evaluating the Needs Assessment
271(1)
Application of Success and Failure Analysis to a Complex Project
272(1)
Summary
273(2)
Postscript 275(10)
Highlights and Insights
275(5)
Balance: Walking the NA Tightrope
275(1)
Level 1 Needs Are It!
276(1)
Values, Values Everywhere
276(1)
The Planning Gridlock (Inertia) and the ``P'' Word---Politics
277(1)
The Lonely, Isolated NA
278(1)
Multiple Data Sources---Help or Hindrance?
279(1)
Rigid Rules Don't Work; A General NA Model Does
279(1)
What Does the Future Hold for Needs Assessment?
280(5)
Social Transformation
280(1)
Technology to the Forefront
281(1)
Help! More Research is Needed
282(1)
Training in NA---The Opportunity
282(1)
Collaborative NAs---The Wave of the Future?
283(1)
A Final Note
283(2)
References 285(6)
Recommended Reading 291(2)
Index 293(8)
About the Authors 301

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