Needs assessments should be your first step prior to introducing a new program or implementing new changes to an existing program. It is easy to assume what a particular person or group of people need in order to overcome an obstacle in life. However, it is actually difficult to identify what is actually needed by a group of individuals, or how the impact of one program will affect them. A needs assessment will help identify actual obstacles that prevent individuals from striving. Once the issues are identified, it is then possible to create a program around alleviating that issue.
Benefits of Needs Assessments
Needs assessments provide detailed information on what is affecting the community or group that is difficult to ascertain from general observation. Conducting a needs assessment will prevent wastefulness in your organization from focusing on issues that are not actually affecting your clients. The completion of a needs assessment will allow your organization to tailor programming to meet the needs of the organization's clients.