“Dr. Beane’s findings on HIV, urban neglect, and population decline will blow your mind!!”
David Miller, M.Ed.
Activist and Author
Founder of the DARE TO BE KING Project
David Miller, M.Ed. Activist and Author, Founder of the DARE TO BE KING Project

Who do you serve?  What are your community’s most pressing problems?  Have things improved or are they getting worse over time?  What do you hope to achieve?

In order to accurately assess the scope and scale of need in your community or target population, it’s vital to consider both government data and the community’s own perspective and opinions.  A thorough needs assessment will analyze quantitative (numbers) and qualitative (perceptions) data from various sources.  This will entail:

  • Extracting Government Data from local and national government databases.
  • Hosting Focus Groups with past/potential clients and community residents.
  • In-depth Interviews with a sampling of clients, residents, and direct service staff.
  • Conducting Community Forums and Street Intercept Surveys in your community.

After completing this assessment, you will be able to define and describe your target population, present solid evidence of the current need, and begin to distill the types of interventions that will be most effective for resolving the community’s needs.

Dr. Beane has conducted needs assessments in urban settings for over two decades. In 2005, she served as co-principal investigator for a comprehensive Human Services Needs Assessment of the southern Park Heights community (population 30,000) of Baltimore City, commissioned by the city’s Department of Planning. The final report included over 300 recommendations originating from community residents’ suggestions in the areas of health, drug recovery, public safety, education, recreation, and sanitation with an implementation budget of $50 million over three years.

 “Working with Dr. Beane was both inspirational and instructive. I learned
a lot about how to analyze and document a community’s health.”
Thomas Bendu, MSW, MPH
(MPH Intern, 2012)