About This Series
Publication Date: January 2010
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About This GuideResources

About This Guide


This guide contains basic information on how to conduct a needs assessment. The guide is organized around six key steps, each of which should be addressed in your needs assessment:

  1. Formulate needs assessment questions.
  2. Review existing data sources.
  3. Collect new data.
  4. Analyze data.
  5. Report findings.
  6. Use your findings.

The guide includes a resources section with references and a glossary and appendixes containing sample tools, templates, and instruments to assist you with your needs assessment.

How To Use the Guide

You may or may not need to use the entire guide. If you need help formulating questions for your needs assessment and identifying data sources, refer to steps 1–3. For help presenting the results of your needs assessment or using them to inform program planning, refer to steps 5–6. If you are looking for sample instruments for collecting data, refer to the appendixes. In short, look to this guide for whatever help you need in conducting your needs assessment.

Other guides are available in this OVC series to assist you with needs assessment and program evaluation:

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh Street NW.
Washington, DC 20531

Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Attorney General

Laurie O. Robinson
Assistant Attorney General

Joye E. Frost
Acting Director, Office for Victims of Crime

Office of Justice Programs

Office for Victims of Crime

NCJ 228962