Frequently, starting a meaningful needs assessment is problematic. This book focuses on numerous approaches for doing just that. Its content includes such things as the cultural audit, initial scaled or open-ended questionnaires for use by the group guiding the assessment, how to select members of that group and how to organize its endeavors, techniques for conducting collaborative ventures across organizations, sources of available information that might be used early in the process, and so forth. The emphasis is on collecting existing information before going to the expensive process of creating new data. Decisions coming from Phase 1 are described.
James W. Altschuld, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University where he taught program evaluation, needs assessment, and research methods. He has published and presented extensively in the field of evaluation particularly with regard to how needs are assessed.