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Needs Assessment

The 6 D's of Needs Assessment
A way to make sure you are covering all your bases when doing your needs assessment.

Community Health Needs Assessment
This website is part of the Community Commons and can provide you with an online toolkit to provide easy and efficient access to data indicators in your target community.  The mapping capabilities on this site are valuable for collecting information about communities.  Do watch the Overview video to orient yourself to the tools on this site.

Assessing Community Needs and Resources Toolkit, from the Community Tool Box at the University of Kansas.
This toolkit provides guidance for conducting assessments of community needs and resources.

Conducting a Community Assessment
This 17-page manual from the organization Strengthening Nonprofits provides clear steps to doing a community assessment and some templates and sample documents that you might use.  There is an accompanying series of videos, about 6 minutes in total, with much of the same information.

Community Health Status Indicators
CHSI 2015 is an interactive web application that produces health profiles for all 3,143 counties in the United States.

Perley CM, Gentry GA, Fleming S, Sen KM. Conducting a user-centered information needs assessment: the Via Christi Libraries’ experience. J Med Libr Assoc 2007 Apr; 95(2):173-181. This article provides a good example of a needs assessment using multiple evaluation methods. Librarians at the Via Christi Libraries in Wichita, Kansas, provide information services to all employees of the Via Christi Regional Medical Center (VCRMC) and needed to develop a strategic plan to meet the expanding use of their services and increasing cost of providing access.  This article provides detailed descriptions of how the researchers used a self-administered survey, telephone survey, and focus groups to gather information of increasing depth among users, and includes appendices with survey and focus group questions. The samples used in the project were not random, but the researchers used many venues to capture a solid cross section of their user population; and the multi-method approach allowed them to corroborate findings across different perspectives.  They also described how they used the findings to develop a strategic plan and listed their “lessons learned” about doing needs assessment.  This is not a “how to conduct a needs assessment” article and the findings are the main point of the piece.  But their concrete description of their methods provides added value to their article.


Building Partnerships

Community Conversation Workbook, from ALA's Libraries Transforming Communities website
This workbook provides invaluable guidance to anyone who wants to conduct discussion groups for community assessment purposes. It provides practical advice on every aspect of convening group discussions, including tips on participant recruitment, a list of discussion questions, facilitator guidelines, note-taking tools, and templates for organizing key findings.

Creating and Maintaining Partnerships Toolkit from the Commuity Tool Box.
This toolkit provides guidance for creating a partnership among different organizations to address a common goal.

Partnering for Success in the Social Innovation Fund
Guide for developing successful collaborations. From the Corporation for National & Community Service.

Urban Indian Health Institute: Resources for Partnerships
Excellent resources from UIHI and links to other resources they have found.  UIHI makes available "guides [that] offer suggestions for managing partnerships effectively", including sample documents.