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Program Design, Implementation and Evaluation - 1 - Needs Assessment
Learning Outcomes - Understand the principles of needs assessment, different types of community needs and analysis leading to prioritisation of health needs.
Context: This assignment is on Needs Assessment in public health, and you have 2 options (choose one) for submission (it is an individual assignment in report structure).
Option 1: Choose a setting such as a community, health service (e.g. hospital, primary health care service) or neighbourhood you know well in Australia (Examples (not limited to) are:
(1) A particular community (for example, indigenous population, women etc)
(2) A health service (such as hospital, primary health care service, GP practices etc)
(3) A neighbourhood that you know well (where you currently live in)
How to proceed with Option 1:
STEP 1: A discussion of how you would assess different types of needs (normative, expressed, comparative, felt, etc.) and how you would prioritise the findings, justifying your choices.
For this purpose, you would either know of/be in the situation in reality first. Then, you would have to undertake rigorous literature review to understand different types of needs assessment and consider alternative views to justify the choices for this context.
STEP 2: Any potential challenges for your needs assessment and how you would address them. This could be relating to policy, contextual issues or others.
STEP 3: A SWOT analysis, where you identify the Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats of your organisation or program.
STEP 4: A determination of program priorities, based upon your needs assessment.
In your needs assessment, you may determine multiple programs priorities - justify why you would choose the priorities you have identified. Are there any population groups that would benefit best from your program? Mention these, justify.
Option 2 - Select one of the nine national health priorities (These national health priorities have been devised via a prior needs assessment at a policy level. If you use one of them for your assignment, you need to take one of these areas and imagine how you would prioritize it at a service level).
Imagine you have been asked to conduct a needs assessment for this setting or health priority. Describe how they would go about a needs assessment.
How to proceed with Option 2:
These national health priorities have been devised via a prior needs assessment at a policy level. If you use one of them for your assignment, you need to take one of these areas and imagine how you would prioritise it at a service level.
For example: Assuming that you have chosen 'Cancer Control'.
First, it is best that you break it down into the types of cancers that seem to be prevalent, looking at the incidence of these across Australia (statistics as of 2017),(do remember that you do not go into details of the health problem as such, as this is not the task. It is simply statistics to support this task) and review what services are already being provided across Australia in all the States and Territories as well as Federal initiatives. Your literature review needs to be highly comprehensive and up-to-date till end of 2017.Then, based on this decide on how a needs analysis can be undertaken nationally. Do remember to justify different approaches (literature review), before arriving at your final version.
Specifically, In this example:
Step 1: What is the best needs analysis approach for 'cancer control service?' Can this be national or state level - and why (justify via literature).
Step 2: What are the challenges that you will face in undertaking the needs analysis? Look at policy, inter-disciplinary and generic levels.
Step 3: SWOT - From literature that exists until 2017. This can include what is being done (for example, screening), weakness (do not cover all population), threats (many people resist undertaking scanning), opportunity (making screening mandatory).
Step 4: Program priorities-identify priorities for a potential program based on the above that can be provided at grass root level via state/local councils.
(Keep in mind that designing a program as such is not the primary objective - you are only outlining it at this stage)
Assessment Criteria -
- Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of different types of need, the process of conducting a needs analysis and SWOT analysis and the steps required.
- Demonstrates understanding of different approaches and methods for needs analysis and ability to choose the most appropriate for their selected area.
- Demonstrates ability to synthesise information for a review of relevant literature and to form a coherent rationale for the needs prioritized.
- Critically analyses the methods and population group chosen and potential challenges to the needs assessment.
General assessment criteria:
- Provides a lucid introduction.
- Shows a sophisticated understanding of the key issues.
- Shows ability to interpret relevant information and literature in relation to chosen topic.
- Demonstrates a capacity to explain and apply relevant concepts.
- Shows evidence of reading beyond the required readings.
- Justifies any conclusions reached with well-formed arguments and not merely assertions.
- Provides a conclusion or summary.
Attachment:- Program Design and Evaluation Assignment File.rar