Humanitarian Needs Assessment – The Good Enough Guide
Needs assessment is essential for programme planning, monitoring and evaluation, and accountability, however needs assessment is still a critical weakness of humanitarian response. Organizations urgently need to improve how they do assessments.
The humanitarian community has been working on this issue through a number of different initiatives. The focus has been on coordinated needs assessments (CNA), sometimes referred to as joint needs assessment (JNA).
The inter-agency Needs Assessment Task Force has issued an operational guidance note which provides useful technical advice. It has also developed the Multi Cluster/Sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA), which is now being used in a number of locations. Details of where to access these documents are in the resources section of this guide.
However, individual staff members with responsibility for carrying out needs assessments have had few practical resources to help them. The Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS) and the Emergency Capacity Building Project (ECB) have produced this guide to fill the gap that existed for a practical resource that pulls together the main lessons learned from various initiatives and experiences.