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Introduction

Needs assessment can be broadly defined as a systematic set of procedures to identify needs, prioritize them and make decisions concerning programme improvement based on these needs (Witkin & Altschuld, 2000). There are many different approaches to need definitions; for example, Bradshaw (1972) proposed a taxonomy of four types of social needs – normative, felt, expressed, or comparative needs – whereas McKillip (1987) suggested that need was a ‘value judgement that some group has a problem that can be solved’ (p. 10). A need is generally considered to be a discrepancy between a desired state of affairs and the present state of affairs in regard to a group and a situation of interest (Kaufman, 1988). Needs assessment seeks to determine and analyse such discrepancies and ...

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