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

Hello! Welcome to the Needs Assessment (NA) TIG Week on AEA365.  As the AEA proposal process for the 2024 AEA conference in Portland is underway, the NA TIG invites you to submit a proposal, volunteer to be a proposal reviewer, or simply join our TIG in your AEA profile.  Reach out to our TIG Chair Lisle Hites for more info.

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.

In my role with the Institute, I work with technical assistance providers and trainers to develop and analyze post-event/training evaluations. I also support research and evaluation projects in partnership with other researchers and gender-based violence organizations. I’m sharing lessons and tips from API-GBV’s 2023 national needs assessment of community-based, sexual assault and domestic violence organizations currently working with Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities and survivors in the United States and territories.

Lessons Learned

Planning collaborative evaluations takes time. Timelines should incorporate adequate time to build rapport among partners and to develop evaluation questions rooted in evidence. This project was in collaboration with Esperanza United and Ujima, inc., two culturally specific national centers working to end gender-based violence in Latine/a/o and Black communities, respectively. Our meetings were a space to connect with other culturally specific centers, fine tune the needs assessment survey questions, and strategize about how the results would be disseminated.

Be strategic and intentional about recruitment. For a multi-site needs assessment, we found it beneficial to reach out to established partner organizations (see API-GBV’s online directory for an example of a database of community organizations). This strategy might not be applicable for all needs assessments, but careful planning with recruitment can improve the quality and quantity of responses.

Know your audience and who will be receiving any evaluation products such as toolkits, training materials, and reports that will disseminate evaluation findings. For example, the research team works with our communications department to create infographic visualizations for sections of data. In turn, these infographics can be shared on social media or embedded into reports and slide decks.

Hot Tips

  1. Monitor data collection for bots and junk responses when possible.
  2. Watch for any unusual spikes in the number of responses. Other indicators could include nonsense domains for submitted email accounts, phony workplaces, and survey duration being much shorter or much longer than the expected duration.
  3. With access to Qualtrics, the reCAPTCHA and bot detection functions can funnel out some nonsense survey responses.
  4. In any survey planform, one can opt for an attention check question.

Rad Resources

  • I use Canva for infographic inspiration to create shareable data visuals. A free account gives access to many types of assets and is simple for anyone to use. Canva offers a free premium version for nonprofit organizations as well. Premium accounts provide a way to integrate organizational branding such as colors and logos into the deliverables being created.
  • For more information about the scales used to understand Organization Cultural Competence, an article by Castro, Barrera Jr., and Martinez Jr. from Prevention Sciences in 2004 provides insight about cultural adaptations of programs. A recent article from the American Journal of Community Psychology 2022 authored by Macias and her colleagues provides an example of cultural adaption of a photovoice program.
  • For more information on a scale that measures culturally specific and trauma informed practices at organizations addressing intimate partner violence and sexual assault, see the 2020 article by Serrata and her colleagues published in the Journal of Family Violence.

The American Evaluation Association is hosting Needs Assessment (NA) TIG Week with our colleagues in the Needs Assessment Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to AEA365 come from our NA TIG members. 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. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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