Needs Assessment, 2nd Ed.

A Systematic Approach to Data Collection
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Dimensions:7 x 10
Format: This is the PRINT format of this title Paperback
Author(s): Ananda Mitra

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The idea of collecting citizen input before making decisions that would affect the lives of the citizens is fundamental to a democratic society where the people in power are supposed to serve the citizens.

Collecting this information becomes crucial when it is the citizen’s money that would be spent by those in power.

Needs Assessment: A Systematic Approach to Data Collection provides a road map for collecting citizen input whereby the input is reliably collected and honestly used, especially in the age of the connected citizen who has numerous digital ways of making oneself heard.

As is the case in any scientific method, this book offers a treatment that can be conducted by anyone who is able to follow the directions in the book correctly.

This makes the process repeatable and testable, both of which are critical to the scientific method.

For the recreation practitioner, this book would show the best practices of collecting citizen data and, most important, allow the recreation professional to recognize the unscientific attempts at citizen data collection and be wary of information generated by less reliable methods.

Table of Contents: 

1 Citizen Input as the Voice of the People
Whose Voice?
Voices That Change
Voices That Matter

2 Key Objectives in Citizen Data Collection
User vs Nonuser
Describing Recreation
Recreation Needs
What People Think
What People Do
Who the People Are
Customizing a Study

3 Methods of Collecting Input
Qualitative vs Quantitative Methods
Selecting a Method

4 Talking to the Community
Elements of the Focus Group Meeting

5 Asking Questions
Questionnaire Wording and Formatting
Factors to Consider in Questionnaire Design
Conventions to Follow for Questionnaire Format

6 Collecting Data
Response Rate
Modes of Data Collection

7 Where the Data Come From
Definition of the Population and Listing the Population
Obtaining Representativeness in the Sample
Random Selection
Sample Selection
Alternatives to Simple Random Sampling
Determining the Optimum Sample Size

8 Analysis of Quantitative Data
The Basics
Variables: Independent and Dependent
Setting Up the Data for Analysis
Descriptive Analysis
Analysis of Trends
Tests of Difference
Analysis of Relationships
Factor Analysis and Reliability Checks

9 Analysis of Narrative Data
Collecting Data
The Theory of Narbs
Analytic Tools
Analytical Process and Outcomes

10 Data Utilization
Decision Making
Public Face
Action Plans

About the Author(s)

Ananda Mitra

Ananda Mitra is a professor in the Department of Communication at Wake Forest University.

He developed the notion of narbs and a specific method for analysis of big data based on narb theory.

Additionally, Mitra has worked with nearly 170 recreation agencies across the United States in his almost 25 years of doing recreation research and is the owner of the recreation research company Management Learning Laboratories.