Needs Assessment

In Extension, needs assessment should be a part of program planning and evaluation. You probably already recognize the importance of assessing need when developing or tweaking programs. You may already use bits and pieces of information to help guide your program decision making. This is a good start, but there are some structured ways to be thinking about needs assessment. Recognizing and even following the steps of more structured needs assessment can help us all craft more meaningful programs that serve our desired audiences and can easily be evaluated on their ability to meet the needs of constituents. In many cases, needs assessment can foster positive and meaningful changes to the way we think about and develop programs. Use the resources below to learn about the steps of a high-quality, structured needs assessment.

Needs Assessment Resources

Needs Assessment Primer (PDF) by Sam Angima & Lena Etuk, Oregon State University Extension Service

Needs Assessment Example (PDF) by Lena Etuk & Sam Angima, Oregon State University Extension Service

Needs Assessment Webinar (scroll down to 2012, November 9) by Lena Etuk & Sam Angima, Oregon State University Extension Service

Needs Assessment Presentation (1 hour 30 minutes) by Lena Etuk & Sam Angima, Oregon State University Extension Service

Program Planning for Maximum Impact (PPT) by Lena Etuk, Oregon State University Extension Service

Program Planning for Maximum Impact presentation (1 hour, 20 minutes) by Lena Etuk, Oregon State University Extension Service

Program & Proposal Enhancement Tools (.docx) Worksheets to help you craft a solid proposal for programs - by Dave King, Lena Etuk, & Sam Angima

Get Help

Need help with needs assessment? Contact:

Lena Etuk, Social Demographer

Sam Angima, Regional Administrator

Lena and Sam can help you:

  • Build your own needs assessment capacity through trainings or consultation
  • Conduct a needs assessment

Contribute

Have you conducted a needs assessment that followed the principle of measuring the difference between “what is” and “what should be?” Would you be interested in sharing it with others as an example? If so, please send Sam Angima or Lena Etuk a summary of that needs assessment (2-6 pages). They'll review it, maybe make some comments on it, and then share it with others as an example on this webpage or in trainings. 

Here is a template you can use to guide your development of a Needs Assessment Summary:

Needs Assessment Exemplar Summary Template