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Use the 6 D’s of Needs Assessments to Design an Effective Program!

The NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) recommends using evaluation questions as a foundation for evaluation projects. The questions are useful in developing data collection methods, analyzing data, and organizing evaluation reports. If you are planning a needs assessment, you can take advantage of a tip sheet that provides needs assessment questions for you: The 6Ds of Needs Assessments. This one-page document will help you identify the information needed to advocate for your project with a comprehensive, rational argument, as well as design an effective program. It was created by Kylie Hutchinson, principle evaluator for Community Solutions Planning and Evaluation. Use the 6 D’s to cover all the bases of your needs assessment:

  • Deficit: What is the need requiring intervention?
  • Develop: What are the existing strengths the program will build upon?
  • Describe: What are the proposed participants’ characteristics, learning styles and barriers, etc?
  • Desires: What are the preferences for receiving the program, e.g., format, length of program, location, etc?
  • Duplication: What is the unique niche the program will address?
  • Demand: Is there a demand for the program?

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