Needs-based assessment

A Needs-based Assessment is a systematic, rational process for collecting and analysing information to describe the needs of a population. It is a systematic approach to identifying community needs and determining program capacity to address the needs of the population being served.

A needs-based assessment can help identify current conditions and desired services or outcomes. It can identify the strengths of a program and the challenges faced in meeting the service needs of those served. A needs assessment should be objective and include input from beneficiaries, program staff, and other key community stakeholders.

Carrying out a Needs-based Assessment is the first step in designing your intervention. For your design process, you can use a Logical Framework approach or use a Theory of Change methodology.

Below are some resources to help get you started in carrying out a Needs-based Assessment for your project or programme.


A guide for comprehensive needs assessment – WESTED

Comprehensive needs assessment – Office of Migrant Education

Identifying the need for evaluation capacity assessment tools and guidance – USAID


Guide de la planification, du suivi et de l’evaluation axés sur les résultats du développment – PNUD

Guide pour le suivi et l’evaluation de projects et programmes – IFRC

Panifier le suivi et l’évaluation – Scott G Chaplowe, Croix Rouge Américaine 


Guía para el seguimiento y la evaluación de proyectos y programas – IFRC