Needs assessment and asset/capacity building: A promising development in practice

James W. Altschuld, Hsin Ling (Sonya) Hung, Yi Fang Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


From time to time there have been sharp and barbed criticisms of needs assessment-for example, starting from a deficit perspective (a potentially negative view based on problems and issues) as opposed to an asset-based perspective (a more positive view based on strengths and resources). In the last 10-15 years, this has led to a hybrid model of asset/capacity building and needs assessment that is increasingly noticeable in community improvement, public safety, health, and other similar projects. Needs assessment and asset/capacity building are compared and contrasted in this chapter as a premise for synthesizing the new hybrid approach. The steps necessary for making the hybrid come to life are explained in some detail, as well as a few methods that might be used in implementing it. Two current examples of hybrid studies are analyzed, followed by implications of and issues inherent in following this new course of action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-103
Number of pages15
JournalNew Directions for Evaluation
Issue number144
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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