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ERIC Number: ED153126
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Sep
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Theoretical Issues in Defining and Identifying Human Service Needs.
Nguyen, Tuan D.; Attkisson, C. Clifford
Current approaches to need assessment belong to one of three theoretical orientations: the rationalistic perspective in which need is predicated on the existence of some pathology or deviance from the rational ideal; (2) the empirical position where need is conceived as deviance from a normative or observed state of good health and well-being; and (3) the relativistic orientation which derives need statements from the socio-cultural-political consensus that emerges from the community. The following definition of unmet need for health and human services is offered as capable of overcoming the conceptual and operational deficiencies that exist among current definitions of needs: An unmet need is said to exist when a problem in living, a dysfunctional somatic or psychological state, or an undesirable social process is recognized, for which a satisfactory solution requires a major mobilization of additional resources and/or a major reallocation of existing resources. There is a need to distinguish need assessment--an environmental monitoring system--from program evaluation. The latter is an internal monitoring system that assesses the achievement of the program in terms of goal and mandates. Both systems, however, are significantly interdependent processes that are essential for efficient program planning. (Author)
Publication Type: Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (San Francisco, California, August 26-29, 1977)