Needs Assessment

Need assessment

With greater emphasis being placed upon demonstrating the need for a project- the following information is designed to help a group identify the need for a project, it was originally written with a village hall in mind, but could be adapted and applied to other projects.

1) Identify the existing resource(if there is one)

a.What use is it getting – how frequently is the centre used

b.How is being used – what activities are being undertaken

c.Who is using it – what groups are using the centre

d.What alternatives are available – other halls / facilities nearby

2) Identify potential

a. Who else could use the hall

b. What additional activities could be undertaken

c. Who could be attracted in to use the centre

3) Ability of committee to manage project

All this information can be gathered in several ways:

A survey of the community – This could be a short survey given to every household to ask if they use the hall/, how often, what needs it is not meeting, where else they travel to use facilities, and what their priorities are.

A survey of user groups – To identify the needs of groups using the hall and also those who are not using the hall and what may encourage them to do so.  What space and facilities do groups need want (storage, staging, lighting, music, large / small areas, kitchen, bar, changing area, toilets).  This information will provide a basis on the size of centre that may be needed and what equipment would be needed and also features wanted.  

Audit of existing resources

a. In the village / b. Surrounding villages   / c. Accessibility of other resources (i.e. transport)

This would identify what is available elsewhere and how accessible the alternatives are and address issues of duplication and local need for the project.  The information would also help to identify opportunities for activities that are not being offered locally.

Consultation with stakeholders – Speak to management committee and those with an involvement of the running of the centre.  This will draw out any issues concerns of stakeholders and identify possible future uses of the centre.

Consultation with Statutory bodies – To identify any legal, planning or other issues relating to the existing centre.

Census data – To identify the socioeconomic  demographic profile of the area.  This will identify who is the potential audience of the centre.

Skills audit of the management committee – This would be a short questionnaire to establish the range of skills held by the committee that can be used to identify any gaps where the committee may need strengthening or where professional help may need to be brought in.