Make desk research on the current community challenges faced by people at risk of exclusion. It is important to gather a lot of information about the background before you conduct an actual need assessment with the beneficiaries. Here are some questions for your desk research:
- What are the main groups at risk of exclusion?
- What are their characteristics? Think of demographic, such as age, gender, socioeconomic status etc.
- What are the main challenges they are facing? What are the reasons for those challenges? Has their situation been changing throughout the years? Why/why not?
- Was there any research conducted to investigate the needs of people at risk of exclusion? What were the results of it?
- What are the existing initiatives aiming at enhancing social inclusion? Make a list of both governmental and non-governmental programs.
- What is special about your city? Think of historical/cultural background and geographic characteristic. Is the potential of the city being used? If yes, how? If no, why not?
After the research make sure to write down the main conclusion – this document will help you design your future projects.
Take a look at the Need Assessment Tool Kit we developed in our project. Read about the methods, choose one that suits your community the most and make a detailed plan how to implement it. Here are some questions to help you do so:
- What are the aims of the need assessment?
- What specific issues I would like to investigate?
- Was there any other research on this topic conducted before? What were its results?
- What do I need in order to conduct the need assessment? Think of the following elements:
- Material resources (money, equipment, materials etc)
- Team and task division
- Cooperation with other organizations/institutions
- Participants: how do you plan to find them? What are their characteristics? What challenges do they face? How do you cater to their special needs?
- Communication: how are you going to promote the need assessment?
- Results: what do you aim to achieve? How to you plan to sum up the results? How/when/to whom are you going to present them?
- Follow-up: do you have any plans for the activities that will happen after the need assessment?