AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

May/12

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Kylie Hutchinson on a Framework for Needs Assessment

My name is Kylie Hutchinson. I am an independent evaluation consultant and trainer with Community Solutions Planning and Evaluation. I have taught workshops on various evaluation topics for both the AEA and CES and Twitter weekly at @EvaluationMaven.

Evaluators are often given the task of conducting needs assessments. Have you ever wondered how you can best ensure your needs assessment covers all the necessary bases? Several years ago I created a framework to help others conduct needs assessments that are comprehensive, provide a strong argument for support, and yield the best program design possible.

Rad Resource: The 6 D’s of Needs Assessment (http://www.communitysolutions.ca/pdf/needs-assessments-6ds.pdf). This one page reference lists six focus areas for most traditional needs assessments: deficit, develop, describe, desires, duplication, and demand, plus questions to help guide your research.

Hot Tip: Within the world of sometimes overlapping evaluation terminology, you may also find a needs assessment called a gap analysis, feasibility study, environmental scan, and/or situational analysis. It’s up to you to ask questions and interpret what exactly is required.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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