• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

“There is plenty of sound advice for beginners, an update for individuals with more background, and pragmatic tools for everyone in the Needs Assessment process.”—Valerie Larsen, University of VirginiaThis book shows how to analyze and combine qualitative and quantitative data. The authors also explain how to put results together to facilitate making empirically based needs decisions. Although this book can be used in a stand-alone fashion, it is part of the Needs Assessment KIT—five interrelated and sequenced books that take the reader through the needs assessment process (ISBN: 978-0-7619-2595-8).

Dealing with Qualitative Needs Data
Dealing with qualitative needs data

In this chapter we provide a general process for analyzing qualitative data. From one point of view, such data may not seem to be particularly relevant for analysis. It does not result in the measurement of discrepancies, which is at the core of the definition of need. In most circumstances, discrepancies have to be inferred from qualitative methods (observations, interviews, community forums, group discussions, and records containing narratives and comments) and therefore are suspect as to whether they are really indicators of needs. There may only be an implied sense of “what should be” as filtered through the interpretation of a facilitator and the needs assessment committee (NAC).

So why put emphasis on qualitative methods? There are ...

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