To ensure that programs are implemented in the most effective and impactful manner, it is often appropriate to conduct a needs assessment. It is important to understand what a population needs or wants before implementing a program that is designed to solve a problem that may or may not exist. The need could relate to any number of contexts (e.g. education needs, health needs, legal needs, etc.). The ARC has extensive experience in conducting these assessments across small and large samples. Data and information for a needs assessment can be collected in a variety of ways including surveys, focus groups, interviews, existing data, etc.
Recent Needs Assessment Projects
West CAP Community Needs Assessment
The ARC collaborated with West CAP, a non-profit organization who specializes in serving low-income families in west-central Wisconsin, to modify and improve their tri-annual needs assessment. A survey regarding the needs of low-income families was modified to answer their research questions. The survey was administered both via paper (mailed) and electronically through various websites and social media.
Northern Wisconsin Community Health Assessment
A needs assessment was conducted to determine the health needs across three Wisconsin counties (Forest, Oneida, and Vilas). A combination of electronic and paper surveys were used for data collection, and census data was used in order to target demographics of interest. The assessment helped determine community health needs across the three counties, and provided the knowledge needed to inform health program planning initiatives in said counties.
Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Surveys
Two surveys were developed for the Wisconsin DOJ. One survey asked police officers about the frequency of performing specific tasks. A second survey asked Wisconsin police officer supervisors about the importance of specific police officer tasks. The surveys were administered to validate the curriculum of the prep training for police officers and to validate certification exams.