About This Series
Publication Date: January 2010
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About This GuideResources




Clawson, H., K. Small, E. Go, and B. Myles. 2003. Needs Assessment for Service Providers and Trafficking Victims. Report prepared by Caliber Associates, Inc., for the National Institute of Justice. www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/202469.pdf

Reviere, R., S. Berkowitz, C.C. Carter, and C. Graves Ferguson. 1996. Needs Assessment: A Creative and Practical Guide for Social Scientists. Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis Group.

Samuels, B., N. Ahsan, J. Garcia, and Family Resource Coalition. 1995. Know Your Community: A Step-By-Step Guide to Community Needs and Resource Assessment. Chicago, IL: Family Resource Coalition.

Witkin, B.R., and J.W. Altschuld. 1995. Planning and Conducting Needs Assessments: A Practical Guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


Data are factual information, especially information organized for analysis or used to reason or make decisions. They are pieces of specific information collected as part of an evaluation.

Data analysis is the process of applying systematic methods or statistical techniques to compare, describe, explain, or summarize data.

Evaluation plan provides the framework for conducting the evaluation.

Evaluator is an individual trained and experienced in designing and conducting evaluations.

Focus group is a small-group discussion guided by a trained facilitator for gathering data on a designated topic.

Goals are measurable statements of the desired longer term, global impact of the program. Goals generally address change.

Key partners are organizations that are partners of your program through formal agreements or memorandums of understanding.

Needs assessment is the systematic effort to gather information from various sources that will help you identify the needs of victims in your community and the resources that are available to them. It will help you pinpoint reasons for gaps in your program’s performance and identify new and future performance needs.

Objectives are specific, measurable statements of the desired immediate or direct outcomes of the program that support the accomplishment of a goal.

Performance measurement is the ongoing monitoring and reporting of a program’s accomplishments and its progress toward preestablished goals.

Program evaluation is a systematic process of obtaining credible information to be used for program assessment and improvement.

Qualitative data are a record of thoughts, observations, opinions, or words. They are difficult to measure, count, or express in numerical terms.

Quantitative data are numeric information, or a rating of an opinion on a scale, usually from 1 to 5. They can be counted, measured, compared, or expressed in numerical terms.

Research questions are questions developed by the evaluator to define the issues to be investigated and are worded so that they can be answered using research methods.