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Eval Program Plann. 2007 Feb;30(1):1-9. Epub 2006 Dec 6.

Effects of multiple stakeholders in identifying and interpreting perceived needs.

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National Chi Nan University, 1, University Rd., Puli, Nantou 545, Taiwan.


The participation of diverse groups is advocated for planning and implementing needs assessment (NA) procedures. While the involvement of varied constituencies is important, obtaining it requires more effort from the needs assessor and therefore is less commonly employed [Witkin, B.R. (1994). Needs assessment since 1981: The state of the practice. Evaluation Practice, 15(1), 17-27]. In this paper the perspectives held by two groups of stakeholders in an NA were obtained, compared, and when disparate, the groups were queried as to why they were different. A mixed-method design, a quantitative approach followed by a qualitative one, was utilized. Self-report data were collected from the two groups. Group effects, although not strong, were apparent for some items. Understanding the reasons for such differences contributes to a fuller and more meaningful interpretation of needs.

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