A Community Needs Assessment
Research is conducted in a variety of different ways using different methods and methodologies. How these methods are used is imperative to how clear and accurate research will be. Community needs assessment is a research method used by many researchers that assists in finding gaps within a particular target group within a particular community. Throughout this paper I will discuss what a community needs assessment is and when and how it is used. I will also discuss some of the strengths and limitations of this method. I then continue to explain some theoretical and practical perspectives when dealing with this method and how it would apply when conducting your own research in a community. By the end of this paper the reader should have a basic understanding of a community needs assessment and some issues that arise around it.
Community Needs Assessment itself has been given many definitions. The United Way of America (1982) defined it as “a systematic process of collection and analysis as inputs into resource allocation decisions with a view to discovering and identifying goods and services the community is lacking in relation to the generally accepted standards, and for which there exists some consensus as to the community’s responsibility for their provision.” McKillip (1987) defined it as a process of “ordering and prioritisation of community needs.” (Neely,T R ). A community needs assessment can be used in many situations but usually follows a common goal; to gather relevant data and put it into a community needs assessment and have that data be acted on for positive community changes.
According to Finifter, Jensen, Wilson & Koenig (2005) a collaboration of the following three-step process, if used correctly, should be an effective process when conducting a community needs assessment. “Component 1- Assessment, Empirical, Comprehensive. Component 2 – Dissemination, action orientated.... [continues]
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