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Needs Assessment in Public Health: A Practical Guide for Students and Professionals

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The assessment function of public health is essential in the development of appropriate policy and programmatic solutions to persistent and emergent public health concerns. However, few public health professionals are adequately trained in these activities.
This text follows the typical sequence of an actual needs assessment process. Case studies are used to illustrate conceptualization of the task through the application of needs-based data to effective public health solutions. Examples are drawn from myriad public health efforts, recognizing that not all public health sector agencies bear direct responsibility for all activities that could be considered part of public health.
This volume has been designed to serve both students and practitioners interested in improving their understanding and skills in the area of needs assessment.

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Chapter 1—The Context for Needs Assessment: Past, Present, and Future
Introduction Assessing the Needs of All Toward Accountability and Performance Hypothetical Case Examples
Chapter 2—The Process of Needs Assessment
Purpose and Intent of Needs Assessment Needs as Values and Policy Statements Types of Needs Stages in the Needs Assessment Process Discussion Questions
Chapter 3—Data Sources for Public Health Needs Assessment
Sources of Data Private Sector Data Discussion Questions
1 6 9 10
15 18 23 25 37
39 58 59
Chapter 4—Communicating Needs for Community Action
The Critical Import of Communication Steering Committees Communicating through Data Gathering Media Partnerships Communicating Data Communicating through Technology Communicating in the Legislative Arena Critical Partnerships Discussion Questions
Chapter 5—The Selection and Use of Indicators
Indicator Selection Criteria Establishing Need Priorities Performance Measurement and Indicators Indicators for Use in Resource Allocation and Funding Formulas Discussion Questions
Chapter 6—Determining and Developing Solutions: The Importance of Goals and Objectives
Data Are Not Enough Criteria for Determining Feasible Solutions Determining Goals and Objectives Discussion Questions
Chapter 7—Effecting Program and Policy Solutions
State Government Legislative Advocacy Community Coalition Building Advocacy Discussion Questions
61 62 63 64 67 68 70 72 73
75 77 80 83 89
91 93 98 104
108 109 112 113 115
Chapter 8—The Needs Assessment Team
Assembling the Needs Assessment Team Putting the Needs Assessment Team to Good Use The Importance of People Discussion Questions
Chapter 9—A Call for Leadership
Further Reading
118 120 122 122
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