U10d1-28 – personal reflection on public needs assessment

U10D1 – Personal Reflection on Public Needs Assessment Project

1. What were the challenges in creating a needs-based program evaluation design and incorporating an action research approach? 

2. How did the action learning experience enhance the process and help you resolve these challenges?

3. Conversely, was the action learning experience difficult, and if so, how and why?


Note: Be certain to read the unit introduction, as it may contain important information and references pertaining to this unit’s content and activities.

Use your Bridging the Gap Between Asset/Capacity Building and Needs Assessment text to read Chapter 7, “Cases Exhibiting Hybrid Framework Characteristics,” pages 155–180.

Complete the following:

Read Chiu’s 2003 article, “Transformational Potential of Focus Group Practice in Participatory Action Research,” from Action Research, volume 1, issue 2, pages 165–183.

Read Stevahn and King’s 2005 article, “Managing Conflict Constructively in Program Evaluation,” from Evaluation, volume 11, issue 4, pages 415–427.

INTRODUCTION -Recapping Focus Group of Stakeholders’ Reflection of Needs Assessment Framework

You are now in the final unit of this course on public needs assessment and planning, and you have developed a set of action learning skills, A/CB, and action-oriented research competencies to address complex needs-based issues, as well as decision-making scenarios that involve both the public and government. At that intersection, many difficult societal problems can be solved if all parties work together as a focus group of stakeholders and can overcome their differing

agendas, inherent conflicts, and perspectives. The uniqueness of focus group of stakeholders or perhaps the public/private partnership characteristics can offers synergy and expertise that neither side by itself could develop or maintain.

As you consider what you have learned and how to apply it in your own professional and personal lives, as well as your future action-oriented research project, remember that each situation is unique because it involves different people and problems of varying scope and depth. There is no such thing as a cookie-cutter approach. Even if the same people are in the room, if the issue is different, the tensions or interpersonal conflicts, perspectives and approaches will also differ.

However, if the focus group of stakeholders is structured by synergy and expertise reflective of an action learning model and applicable KTA intervention framework, the inherent tensions or interpersonal conflicts can be better managed.

For example, let us assume that when the NAC or NAT first meets, it is rife with conflict and no two parties can agree on anything, including the scope of the problem. If, after a few months, everyone can sit in the same room and have a sane

and respectful debate about the needs-based issues, then perhaps that could be viewed as progress being made.

Understanding this, you can be an effective action-learning and action-oriented research facilitator of public needs assessment processes and a good representative of any stakeholder group that will be at the table for discussions.


To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:

1. Assess inherent conflicts, different agendas, and perspectives observed in public needs assessment situations.

2. Analyze how to apply action learning model in managing conflict constructively in public needs assessment planning and implementation processes.

3. Conduct and share a reflective action learning framework on the public needs assessment and planning process.

4. Assess changes to personal style and process approaches in applicable public needs assessment situations.

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