Subject Code and Title: PUBH6007 Program Design, Implementation and Evaluation
Assessment: 1 – Needs Assessment
Length: 1500 words (+‐10%)
Learning Outcomes: Understand the principles of needs assessment, different types of community needs and analysis leading to prioritisation of health needs
Total Marks: 100
Context: This assignment is on Needs Assessment in public health, and you have 2 options (choose one) for submission (it is an individual assignment in report structure).
Instructions: Option 1: Choose a setting such as a community, health service (e.g. hospital, primary health care service) or neighbourhood you know well in Australia ( Examples (not limited to) are:
(1) a particular community (for example, indigenous population, women etc) (2) a health service (such as hospital, primary health care service, GP practices etc) (3) a neighbourhood that you know well (where you currently live in)
How to proceed with Option 1:
STEP 1: A discussion of how you would assess different types of needs (normative, expressed, comparative, felt, etc.) and how you would prioritise the findings, justifying your choices. For this purpose, you would either know of/be in the situation in reality first. Then, you would have to undertake rigorous literature review to understand different types of needs assessment and consider alternative views to justify the choices for this context.
STEP 2: Any potential challenges for your needs assessment and how you would address them. This could be relating to policy, contextual issues or others.
STEP 3: A SWOT analysis, where you identify the Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats of your organisation or program.
STEP 4: A determination of program priorities, based upon your needs assessment In your needs assessment, you may determine multiple programs priorities – justify why you would choose the priorities you have identified. Are there any population groups that would benefit best from your program? Mention these, justify.
Let us take a GP practice in a specific growing suburb in Melbourne as a context. The waiting list seem to be increasing as many patients are approaching the GP and there are no other practices close by. It could also be that much of the population is working, and they need after hours service. If you are part of this situation (working in the practice or living in the suburb) – you would have an idea as to what type of need had risen. From that point, think about what type of needs assessment is required (via comparing few types of needs assessment from literature review), and justify your choice. Then, we are looking at potential challenges to really confirm this need, through the needs assessment. Subsequently, look at the SWOT analysis. There may be many GPs in the practice (Strength), but, the hours may not suit the working population in the suburb (weakness). The threat may be that due to non‐suitable opening hours or waiting list, the population may begin to move to another closer suburb (where there are more GPs open late) which then (threatens) the practice. And the (opportunity) is there for this GP practice to open for more hours or have shift based GPs for different hours, keeping the practice open later. This is a simple SWOT and there may be many more. In this situation, you would be looking at a program design that allows the GPs to open later hours or shifts, which cater to the mainly working population, young families in the new suburb/neighbourhood. You may prioritise working women, kids or mainly working men as population groups that would best benefit.
Select one of the nine national health priorities (see http://www.aihw.gov.au/national‐ health‐priority‐areas/) (These national health priorities have been devised via a prior needs assessment at a policy level. If you use one of them for your assignment, you need to take one of these areas and imagine how you would prioritize it at a service level) Imagine you have been asked to conduct a needs assessment for this setting or health priority. Describe how they would go about a needs assessment:
How to proceed with Option 2:
These national health priorities have been devised via a prior needs assessment at a policy level. If you use one of them for your assignment, you need to take one of these areas and imagine how you would prioritise it at a service level
For example: Assuming that you have chosen ‘Cancer Control’.
First, it is best that you break it down into the types of cancers that seem to be prevalent, looking at the incidence of these across Australia (statistics as of 2017),(do remember that you do not go into details of the health problem as such, as this is not the task. It is simply statistics to support this task) and review what services are already being provided across Australia in all the States and Territories as well as Federal initiatives. Your literature review needs to be highly comprehensive and up‐to‐date till end of 2017.Then, based on this decide on how a needs analysis can be undertaken nationally. Do remember to justify different approaches (literature review), before arriving at your final version
Specifically, In this example:
Step 1: What is the best needs analysis approach for ‘cancer control service?’ Can this be national or state level – and why (justify via literature). Step 2: What are the challenges that you will face in undertaking the needs analysis? Look at policy, inter‐disciplinary and generic levels. Step 3: SWOT – From literature that exists until 2017. This can include what is being done (for example, screening), weakness (do not cover all population), threats (many people resist undertaking scanning), opportunity (making screening mandatory). Step 4: Program priorities–identify priorities for a potential program based on the above that can be provided at grass root level via state/local councils.
(Keep in mind that designing a program as such is not the primary objective ‐ you are only outlining it at this stage)
Assessment Criteria (Please see Learning Rubric On Following Pages)
• Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of different types of need, the process of conducting a needs analysis and SWOT analysis and the steps required (25%) • Demonstrates understanding of different approaches and methods for needs analysis and ability to choose the most appropriate for their selected area (25%) • Demonstrates ability to synthesise information for a review of relevant literature and to form a coherent rationale for the needs prioritised (20%) • Critically analyses the methods and population group chosen and potential challenges to the needs assessment. (20%) • General assessment criteria (10%): Provides a lucid introduction Shows a sophisticated understanding of the key issues Shows ability to interpret relevant information and literature in relation to chosen topic Demonstrates a capacity to explain and apply relevant concepts Shows evidence of reading beyond the required readings Justifies any conclusions reached with well‐formed arguments and not merely assertions Provides a conclusion or summary Correctly uses academic writing, presentation and grammar: 1. Complies with academic standards of legibility, referencing and bibliographical details (including reference list) 2. Writes clearly, with accurate spelling and grammar as well as proper sentence and paragraph construction 3. Uses appropriate APA style for citing and referencing research
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