People often use advocacy to create positive change for society. Advocacy represents the strategies devised, actions taken, and solutions proposed to influence change for the betterment of society. The key to successful advocacy and creating a successful strategic plan is to conduct a needs assessment to determine the needs or priorities for a given agency, organization, or community.
A needs assessment is a systematic way of determining the gap between what an agency, organization, or community has and what is desired to meet the needs of individuals, groups, communities, or societies. The needs assessment will reveal whether there may be unmet services. It can then provide information about those needs and help inform your planning to meet them. The needs assessment also consists of planning who you need to target, how you will effectively gather new data, and/or how you will use existing data to inform your planning decisions.
- Think about the needs of the agency, organization, or community that you identified as being the focus for your strategic plan.
- Consider how you might collect data from stakeholders regarding met and unmet needs.
The Assignment (2–3 pages):
- Outline/describe steps you would take to conduct a needs assessment.
- State which stakeholders you would contact and why you would contact each.
- Develop a stakeholder survey related to your professional or societal issue.
- The survey must be at least 10 questions.
- Provide a justification for each question on the survey.
- Provide a rationale for the type/format of questions on the survey.
- State how you would vary items on the survey based on the role of the stakeholders who would complete it (administration, leadership, staff, recipient of surveys).