Community Needs Assessment Essay

1621 Words Oct 25th, 2008 7 Pages
Research Method Paper
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
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When conducting a needs assessment, people’s needs with in the community are assessed to see where gaps lie and improvements can be made. If carried out and reported correctly these needs are then bought to local government or relevant organisations/peoples attention, giving the opportunity for programs to be put in place to benefit the people of the community. This is where the third step of Finifter, Jensen, Wilson & Koenig (2005) process comes into place; the implementation of projects to assist where the gaps were found. “Implementation of recommended solutions should be the ultimate goal of any project to improve services and quality of life of a target population (Neely, T R).” The more efficient all three steps are carried out the stronger this method becomes. “The importance of disseminating results effectively using these guidelines cannot be stressed enough. A needs assessment will have achieved nothing if the results are not communicated effectively (Neely, T R).”

Theoretically, community needs assessments are a great way to identify gaps within communities and improving the life of individuals within a target group. If there is a collaboration of all three components of the community needs assessment model, Assessment, Dissemination and
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