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Needs Assessment for Development Professionals


Needs Assessment for Development Professionals

Before development work can take place, aid workers need to understand the present needs and the resources available in order to plan and respond effectively. Conducting accurate, effective and timely needs assessments is key to the preparation and planning of development projects.

The course aims to improve the effectiveness of personnel engaged in development work by taking you through good practice in assessment procedure, including frameworks and principles of assessments. This is an interactive course that utilises group exercises and focused discussion, giving you the opprotunity to share ideas and experiences.

The course covers four main themes: organisation and management of needs assessment, data collection techniques, analytical frameworks, and sector-specific issues.

What does the course cover? 

  • Objectives of the needs assessment

  • Terms of reference

  • Planning assessment activities

  • Information collation and report writing

  • Data collection techniques - how they work, when to use them, and the meaningfulness of the data they produce

  • Analytical frameworks that determine the focus of the assessment, the way assessment information translates into programme response and helps establish indicators for measuring progress, impact and relevance

  • Data collection methodologies and analytical frameworks that are most appropriate to each sector

  • Links between sectors

  • Sector-specific benchmarks, especially Sphere Standards

By the end of the course you will be able to: 

  • Design and plan an effective needs assessment employing tools appropriate for the approach

  • Analyse assessment data to effectively report on beneficiaries’ needs and capacities

  • Analyse cross-cutting and sector-specific issues that impact on emergency needs assessments

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the development context and underlying principles

  • Describe the importance of using a participatory approach throughout the assessment cycle

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key skills, personal attributes and competencies required by a needs assessor

Who should attend?

This course is aimed at people with some experience of working in the development sector. It would be most beneficial for aid workers who undertake needs assements in their work or who foresee having to conduct needs assements in the future.
The curriculum will take you to the next level of competence in conducting accurate, effective and timely assessments – an essential skill before any form of
development work can take place. This course is focused on longer-term assessments that will feed into development programmes. If you are looking for a course on needs assessments in emergency contexts, please see our NAE course here.

Course structure:

Participants will be actively encouraged to participate in classroom discussions and group work. The trainer will draw on both theoretical and practical knowledge in order to make the experience and learning applicable to the realities of the humanitarian sector.

RedR UK is committed to making our courses accessible to any organisation, regardless of size. We offer course scholarships for eligible participants who meet specific criteria. For more information on RedR Scholarships and how to apply, please click here.

Any questions? Check out our FAQs here and our T&Cs here.

If you have any questions about this course or require further information, please contact

In case of any complaints, please email 

RedR UK is committed to making sure everyone’s needs are met, including people of different genders, ages and disabilities. If you have any specific access requirements or learning needs RedR are committed to try and make reasonable adjustments to support your needs, please email or phone 0207 840 6000 at any stage of the booking process to talk directly to RedR about your needs.

Course Overview

Course Length
3 days
£390.00 - £726.00
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