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Needs Assessment

Needs Assessment TIG Week: Identifying Needs and Assets Using GIS by Madhawa Palihapitiya

Hi! My name is Madhawa “Mads” Palihapitiya. I am an evaluator, researcher, and lecturer at UMass Boston and the Principal Investigator on an evaluation of a set of mediation programs aiming to increase access to justice in Massachusetts. I’m sharing information on how to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in assessing needs and assets.

Needs Assessment TIG Week: Evaluating Student Success in Higher Education: A Plea for Needs Assessment by Jessica Osborne

Hello! I am Jessica Osborne, Principal Evaluation Associate at the University of Mississippi Center for Research Evaluation. My role involves providing evaluation services for the higher education field, with projects located across the US, and my background includes not only evaluation but also experience working as a professor, administrator, and student success practitioner within numerous higher education contexts including community colleges, adult education, and R-1 institutions. I love working in evaluation and higher education and am passionately committed to helping students succeed by providing high-quality evaluation that improves student programs, and consequently student outcomes. One commonality I have seen across projects, positions, and institutions: we do not have a solid understanding of our students – who they are, what they need, what motivates them, why they struggle, why they succeed.

Needs Assessment TIG Week: Lessons Learned From a National Needs Assessment of Community-Based, Culturally Specific, Gender-Based Violence Organizations by Krista Grajo

Hello all! I’m Krista Grajo, the Research Coordinator at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (API-GBV). API-GBV is a nonprofit organization that provides culturally specific training and technical assistance to local programs that address domestic violence and sexual assault in Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities.

Needs Assessment TIG Week: The Power of Community Health Needs Assessments as a Tool for Community Engagement by Susana Morales

My name is Susana Morales, and I am the Senior Learning and Evaluation officer at the St. David’s Foundation. Our mission is to advance health equity in Central Texas through investment and action. We conduct Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) to more deeply understand our region’s health needs – particularly those faced by historically-underserved community members – and use these findings to inform our strategy, guide our investments, and work alongside our community to improve the region’s health and well-being to advance health equity.  My post today aligns well with this year’s AEA conference theme: Amplifying and Empowering Voices in Evaluation.

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, NeedsAssessment.org, 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).