Essay about Community Needs Assessment

1625 Words Nov 19th, 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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Although saying this, theory does not always match the practical perspectives.
“Focus groups are generally characterized by small numbers, which raises questions regarding the reliability of the results (Billings, JR & Cowley, S, 1995 p726).” This is just one of the practical considerations attached to conducting a community needs assessment. Mentioned throughout many articles, if the needs assessment is carried out without further program adoption to assist where the community needs are, then it becomes almost pointless carrying out the needs assessment. Although there needs to be consideration when criticising this, as to develop community projects there needs to be a considerable level of continuous funding to support most programs.

It is important to note that although a community needs assessment is a research method in which to gather information, within this method fits many other research methods to compliment it and assist in gathering relevant data. Bouska (1994) used community needs assessment surveys in a step to decategorise program planing in a child welfare organisation. They used systematic selection to select participants then used the primary data they received and moulded it into quantitative research where the majority of their research was put into graphs. Finifter, Jensen, Wilson & Koenig (2005) gathered data

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