Need assessment


Need assessment

Needs Assessment or Community Needs Analysis provides a method of assessing the total needs of a community of people: of that community, for that community and by that community.

Community needs assessment involves assessing the needs that people have in order to live in:
#an ecologically sustainable environment
#a community that maintains and develops viable social capital
#a way that meets their own economic and financial requirements
#a manner that permits political participation in decisions that affect themselves

Community needs assessment as a technique thus forms a part of an Ecologically Sustainable Community Economic Development (ESCED). It forms a first step in any project that aims to secure:
#Ecological enhancement: minimising ecological impact or ameliorating any ecological damage
#Social vitality: building a community that meets all the social and human needs of its members
#Economic resilience: "shock-proofing" local "green" business enterprises as much as possible
#Political participation in ways that ensure the participation of people in political decisions that affect them

Community needs assessment has especial usefulness in action-learning projects, and in ensuring that organisations meet green objectives of:
* social justice
* participatory democracy
* non-violent resolution of conflict
* ecologically-sustainable development

External links

* [http://gaia.iinet.net.au/ The Gaia Foundation] of Australia (like its sister-organisations world-wide) requires needs assessment in the "dreaming stage" of any project.
* [http://www.sagepub.com/booksProdDesc.nav?prodId=Book9308 Needs Assessment] "From Needs Assessment to Action", textbook on the subject of Needs Assessment.


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