AEA365 contributor, Curated by Elizabeth Grim

Needs Assessment TIG Week: Ethics in Evaluation: Identifying and Valuing Human Participants by Sue Hamann

I’m Sue Hamann from the Needs Assessment (NA) TIG. I have worked as an Evaluator for more than 40 years, currently employed at the National Institutes of Health as a Health Scientist and Science Evaluation Officer. I’m writing about how review boards can be helpful in valuing human (program) participants (beneficiaries), thus promoting ethical standards, and our role in this as professionals working in needs assessment (NA) and evaluations.

Needs Assessment TIG Week: Considering Universal Design in Your Needs Assessments and Planning by Maurya West Meiers

I’m Maurya West Meiers. I work at the World Bank Independent Evaluation Group as a Senior Evaluation Officer. I’m also coauthor of A Guide to Assessing Needs: Essential Tools for Collecting Information, Making Decisions, and Achieving Development Results (a free World Bank book).

My post today involves thinking about needs for our friends – or ourselves – who are disabled, elderly, or have other needs – when doing needs assessments and planning.

Needs Assessment TIG Week: ChatGPT’ing with Needs Assessment Experts by Ryan Watkins

I am Ryan Watkins and as a Professor at George Washington University in Washington DC my work focuses on needs, needs assessments, and how people collaborate in making decisions with increasingly ‘intelligent’ technologies. Since December of last year, the world has been captivated by the possibilities presented by Large Language Models (LLMs) like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s BARD. These tools have garnered significant attention for their capabilities in tasks such as writing, editing, and generating code. As an evaluator at George Washington University, I recently undertook the challenge of allowing visitors to our knowledge hub,, to interact with Artificial Intelligence (AI) versions of leading needs assessment experts (see image). In this blog, I provide some insights into how these AI tools work and their potential applications in Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E).

Needs Assessment TIG Week: Place-based Approach to Community Health Needs Assessments: An Example from Laredo by Susana Morales

My name is Susana Morales, and I am the Director of Community Health for the Texas Health Institute (THI).

Texas is often recognized as an increasingly diverse state. It is a place where legacy communities meet new communities, each bringing a different set of values, challenges, and opportunities for growth. The differences are vast, rich, and also contributors to different health outcomes. For these reasons, a place-based approach to community health needs assessments (CHNA) is a promising approach. A place-based approach amplifies and empowers communities, leverages community assets and resources, and engages with community members who bring lived-experience and native knowledge. This approach focuses on improving the health of a community and its community members by understanding health from their perspective and lived experiences.

Needs Assessment TIG Week: Toward More Meaningful Needs Assessments by James Altschuld, Hsinling Sonya Hung, Yi-Fang Lee

We’re Jim Altschuld, Sonya Hung, and Yi-Fang Lee from The Ohio State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and National Taiwan Normal University, respectively. We are sharing our observations from being involved in assessing needs for over 50 collective years in regard to conducting more meaningful Needs Assessments.

Needs Assessment TIG Week: Identifying Gaps and Assets in an Eviction Diversion Initiative Through Storytelling Approaches in a Hybrid Needs Assessment by Madhawa “Mads” Palihapitiya

Hi! I’m Madhawa “Mads” Palihapitiya, an evaluator, researcher, and lecturer at UMass Boston and the Principal Investigator on an evaluation of a housing diversion mediation program aiming to increase housing stability in Massachusetts, which I’m discussing here.

Washington Evaluators Affiliate Week: Better Late Than Never by Evan Seidner

My name is Evan Seidner, and I am the Washington Evaluators’ Program Committee Chair and Scholarship Coordinator.

I’ve been an evaluator my entire life; but it took me until my final year of grad school to figure that out for myself. I was getting my master’s degree in international relations because it felt like the logical next step as I wanted to “course correct” back into a career in security studies. My first real job after receiving my BA was in Tokyo doing procurement and financials for a Japanese grain company because I had the language skills and the willingness to hop on a flight at any moment. While working there I traveled to meet clients across Japan and the US and other countries across Asia.