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.
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