Essay Example: PH Needs Assessments

Published: 2023-03-08
Essay Example: PH Needs Assessments
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Data analysis Community Public health
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 634 words
6 min read

The need is a state of wanting something strongly that one should have. Needs assessment is a procedure used to determine wants, their nature, and causes, and set priorities for future action. The need may be correcting a situation or better a current standard. It may focus on a particular group in a system. The needs assessment involves three steps that are essential in the process. Each step has objectives that help in the assessment.

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The first step is to explore "what is." This step aims to find what is known about the target group, see the scope of the need assessment, and gain commitment for all stages of the assessment (Stevens,2010). This step involves preparing a management plan where one will need to form a committee and determine the leadership schedule. Then identify significant concerns for each outcome that is desired. Find data that confirms that a particular need exists. Determine the sources of information that would help define the need and the kind of data required. Then finally set the priorities of the concerns as a focus in the gathering of data.

The second step is to gather and analyze data (Stevens,2010). This step aims to give the status of the needs and their causes. First, one needs to determine the target group aimed at. Then collect data about the current state of the group and the desired outcome that will help define the need. Then rank the needs in order of importance referring to the date that was collected. Examine the general and specific causes of the needs of the group. Finalize and document the findings by need with an explanation of the major causes.

The final step is to make decisions that act as a bridge from analysis to action. First, set the priority of the established needs of the target group. Generate and examine potential solutions of what is and what should be. Evaluate and rate each solution, then select one or more solutions for each need area. Then give an action plan that can include a description of the solution and resource requirements. Finally, prepare a written report that shows the methods and results of the needs assessments (Stevens, 2010).

  • Public health planners need to conduct a needs assessment before embarking on any health promotion program to develop strategies to address the community's health needs since it involves finding unmet health needs and making changes to meet these needs (Donaldson & Mooney, 2009). Needs assessment provides public health planners opportunity for:

    Knowing more about the needs and importance of the community
  • Knowing the trend of the disease in the community and the difference from others
  • Learning how to use resources to improve the community's health
  • Knowing areas of unmet need and giving clear actions towards meeting them

The precede-proceed model is a structure that assists health planners design health programs effectively from analyzed situations. Precede is an acronym for Predisposing, Reinforcing, and Enabling Constructs in Educational Diagnosis and Evaluation while proceeding for Organizational Construct, regulatory and policy in Environmental and Educational Development (Donaldson & Mooney, 2009). It consists of phases that include the implementation phase and the evaluation phase. Precede phases include: social diagnosis, epidemiology, behavior, and environmental diagnosis, educational, ecological diagnosis, and administrative and policy diagnosis. Proceed phases include: implementation, process evaluation, impact evaluation, and outcome evaluation.

In conclusion, needs assessments help improve the quality of policy decisions, thus leading to the attainment of the desired outcome. Public health planners and other planners can benefit when they conduct assessments before doing any health promotions, and this will help in sharing the resources appropriately. Needs assessments generally help to focus on health and other issues of the target community.


Donaldson C., & Mooney, G. (2009). Needs assessments, priority setting, and contracts for health care; an economic view.

Stevens, A. (2010). Needs assessments. Health trends. Retrieved from

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