A Three-Phase Methodology for Conducting Equity-Focused Needs Assessments


Author(s): Sharon Zanti & Dennis Culhane

Date: 9/13/2022

Published by AISP AISP Logo

Co-authored by AISP co-founder Dennis Culhane and doctoral student Sharon Zanti, this article provides a history of social welfare needs assessment practices from their advent in the 1960s through the present day. The paper, written in response to President Biden’s January 2021 Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, suggests a three-phase methodology for equity-focused needs assessments: (1) performing a gaps analysis, (2) interpreting the gaps analysis and identifying root causes of inequity, and (3) co-creating an equity plan to correct for disparities in service provision. The authors emphasize that these methods can also be implemented beyond the human services space by other organizations and community groups interested in using data to drive equity.

Suggested Citation

Sharon Zanti & Dennis Culhane (2022) A Three-Phase Methodology for Conducting Equity-Focused Needs Assessments, Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, DOI: 10.1080/23303131.2022.2118916

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