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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 67441 Find in a Library
Title: OPTIMAL TREATMENT APPROACH TO NEEDS ASSESSMENT
Journal: EVALUATION AND PROGRAM PLANNING  Volume:2  Issue:4  Dated:(1979)  Pages:269-275
Author(s): G B COX; S J CARMICHAEL; C R DIGHTMAN
Corporate Author: Pergamon Press, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Pergamon Press, Inc
Elmsford, NY 10523
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE OPTIMAL TREATMENT APPROACH TO NEEDS ASSESSMENT IN EVALUATIVE RESEARCH IS DESCRIBED. THIS APPROACH COMPARES THE MOST DESIRABLE SET OF SERVICES FOR A CLIENT WITH THE SERVICES ACTUALLY RECOMMENDED OR RECEIVED.
Abstract: A DEFINITION OF COMMUNITY NEEDS IS AN APPROPRIATE STARTING POINT FOR A HUMAN SERVICES DELIVERY SYSTEM. A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO SERVICE PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT USES AN ASSESSMENT PROCESS TO IDENTIFY NEEDS, DESIGNS A PROGRAM TO ADDRESS THOSE NEEDS, COLLECTS EVALUATION DATA TO MEASURE THE DEGREE OF SUCCESS IN MODERATING THE NEED, AND CONSTANTLY ITERATES THE WHOLE CYCLE. THE OPTIMAL TREATMENT APPROACH CAN BE DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS: IN THE COURSE OF AN EXISTING PROCEDURE FOR CREATING A TREATMENT PLAN OR CASE DISPOSITION FOR INDIVIDUAL CLIENTS, AN ADDITIONAL STEP IS INTRODUCED WHICH ASKS THAT AN OPTIMAL PLAN ALSO BE PRODUCED. THE OPTIMAL AND ACTUAL PLAN ARE COMPARED, AND DISCREPANCIES DUE TO MISSING RESOURCES OR PROGRAMS ARE NOTED. THESE ARE AGGREGATED ACROSS CASES, AND THE RESULTS FED INTO PLANNING MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS. THE TECHNIQUES HAS SEVERAL DESIRABLE FEATURES: DATA ARE COLLECTED PROSPECTIVELY, THE RELEVANCE OF THE DATA TO UNMET NEEDS SHOULD BE VERY HIGH, COSTS AND RESOURCES REQUIRED FOR USE OF THE TECHNIQUES ARE LOW, AND RESULTANT DATA CAN HAVE HIGH LEVELS OF MARGINAL UTILITY AND BE HIGHLY RELEVANT TO DECISIONS TO BE MADE. WHILE THIS APPROACH DOES NOT IN ITSELF PRIORITIES NEEDS, DUE TO THE COMPLEXITY OF THE DECISIONS INVOLVED IN DEFINING AN OPTIMAL TREATMENT, IT DOES GO BEYOND MERELY IDENTIFYING THEM. DISADVANTAGES OF THE APPROACH ARE A TENDENCY TOWARD CONCEPTUAL CONFUSION BETWEEN NEEDS AND SERVICES, SAMPLING AND PERSPECTIVE BIASES, AND THE LONG AMOUNT OF LEAD TIME INVOLVED. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE APPROACH WORKS BEST WHEN DATA TO BE COLLECTED ARE RELEVANT AND OF INTEREST TO THE GROUP RESPONSIBLE FOR GENERATING THE DATA, AND WHEN THE DATA ARE REGARDED BY THE ORGANIZATION AS IMPORTANT. THE USE OF THE OPTIMAL TREATMENT TECHNIQUES IS ADVOCATED FOR LOCAL AGENCIES AND AT COUNTY OR STATE LEVELS. REFERENCES ARE GIVEN. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Evaluation; Evaluation of evaluation; Evaluation techniques; Evaluative research; Services
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67441

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