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Using Community Based Assessments to Strengthen Nonprofit-Government Collaboration and Service Delivery

JHHSA, Vol. 32 No. 4, (2010)

Human service needs assessments are a valuable research tool for prioritizing services to address unmet and undermet needs, and they are essential to organizational and community planning efforts. This article looks at the role of nonprofits in conducting human service needs assessments, a responsibility often left to government health and human service administrators. Exploring the role of private nonprofits in community-based research is especially relevant due to current economic challenges that have caused increasing need for human services, dwindling resources available to meet those needs, and even greater pressures on nonprofit and public organization administrators to prioritize limited resources and services.

This article provides an overview of human service needs assessments—their purpose, benefits, problems, and strategies—and it reviews one exemplar human service needs assessment that may serve as a model for nonprofit and government administrators who are responsible for monitoring and responding to the health and human services needs of local communities and regions.

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