Needs Assessment (5 days)

Strategies, techniques and tools to prepare and conduct a needs assessment

Click here to download the course leaflet (PDF format).

Course overview

Whilst a good needs assessment does not necessarily guarantee a good project, no needs assessment almost certainly guarantees a bad one!

Assessments are a vital element of the project cycle: they provide the information on which decisions will be made.

This course enables participants to improve the quality of their needs assessment and therefore the relevance of potential interventions which may follow.

The course focuses on the various tasks to be done throughout the whole assessment process as well as techniques and tools used to improve the collection of information during interviews with stakeholders.

Whenever possible the course includes a one-day “field” exercise to practice the newly acquired competencies. If not possible, the field exercise is replaced by a case study.

This course is part of the Project Cycle Management curriculum:

  1. Needs Assessment (5 days)
  2. Planning, Programming and Monitoring Projects (5 days)
  3. Evaluating Projects (3 days)

Participants obtain a certificate in Project Cycle Management after attending the three courses. Each of these courses covers one main subject and can also be taken individually, leading to a course certificate.

This course is also available in French. Ce cours peut également être animé en français.

For more information about Project Cycle Management, please see the overview of courses.

Who should attend

The course will benefit persons who are new to project management, or have experience but not yet obtained training, in particular:

  • Program managers
  • Program coordinators
  • Key field and HQ staff involved in assessments
  • Managers supervising assessments

How you and your organisation will benefit – Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, participants are familiar with the assessment concept and process. They are able to prepare and use the appropriate tools to collect information from key stakeholders.

Course organisation and programme

The emphasis is put on practice/exercises rather than on presentations.

  • Group work
  • Brainstorming
  • Role play
  • Case study
Day 1


  • Introduction to project cycle management
  • The aim of a needs assessment

2. a) ASSESSMENT PROCESS – Before the field

  • Defining the objective
  • Choosing the right type of assessment
Day 2

2. a) continued

  • Working with partners, or not?
  • Selecting the team
  • Preparing the data collection
  • Writing the term of reference

2. b) ASSESSMENT PROCESS – During the field

  • Collecting information: observation and interviews techniques
Day 3

2. b) continued

  • Ensuring the reliability of information: bias and triangulation
  • Other considerations to guarantee the quality of data collection
  • Using Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) Tools
Day 4

2. c) ASSESSMENT PROCESS – After the field

  • Processing data
  • Mapping stakeholders
  • Analysing findings: the problem tree
Day 5

2. c) continued

  • Working on findings: the problem tree (continued)
  • Formulating recommendations and writing the report

Interested in having this course conducted tailor-made for your organisation? Please contact us.