Stage 1. Assessing needs

What has to be done?

The needs assessment explores all the dimensions of the phenomenon in which intervention is proposed, in a particular area. This provides information on the scale of the problem and its causes and consequences, and an assessment of the problem by the population targeted by the proposed intervention, as well as an idea of the different people involved in the intervention.

Even if the proposed intervention is very clear, it is advisable to understand the objective conditions of the phenomenon to justify intervention in the area: the results of a needs assessment could cast doubt on the target population, the objectives or even the action plan.

When this stage ends, you will:

  • Understand more about the scale, characteristics and the causes that encourage and maintain the problem in your area.
  • Be able to justify the importance of your intervention.
  • Know which population to prioritise in your intervention.
  • Know more about the population in which you intend to intervene.
  • Have a first approximation of the objectives and actions that your project will have to consider.

If this stage is not completed correctly, there is a risk of:

  • Failing to understand the factors associated with the problem in your area.
  • Aiming your project at the wrong population.
  • Lacking information to defend the need for your intervention.
  • Losing opportunities for technical, community and economic support for the project