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PUBH6007 Program Design, Implementation and Evaluation: Needs Assessment Answer


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

Weighting: 25%

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.

Option 2 

Select one of the nine national health priorities (see‐ 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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