Unit 5 Discussion 1 – Situational Analysis Framework of Riverbend City Case

You have viewed the two presentations on Riverbend City’s NAC members analyzing some of the data for use in the needs prioritization and project interview process. Thus, you now know a lot more about Riverbend City’s public needs assessment project. This is an opportunity to analyze what you understand so far about its SAF.

You will then determine the next steps for the project. Some of the members have very different perspectives on what the SAF data means and some are supportive of certain needs-based issues. Everyone has their own perspective, areas

of expertise, and interests. Reliability and validity of the SAF data also play a role in the outcome.

As a consultant hired to facilitate this SAF of Riverbend City’s case study exploration, include the following in your analysis:

Select members of the NAC and develop the strategy they should use to make sure the SAF data they are supporting is as accurate and useful as possible.

Are the right people represented on the NAC? Consider who else might be added?

What kinds of data gathering and modeling have been performed already?

Provide examples of what makes their data effective and informative for the needs prioritization process.

• Write a script defending and explaining the data use to other NAC members.

• Remember to use the voices of other committee members to ask your selected member questions to carry the discussion along.

• Discuss the next steps in the data gathering process.

You will want to consider focus groups and interviewing techniques, participants, possible access barriers to people or information, and any other aspects that you think might trip up the project. Remember, you are the consultant hired to

facilitate this, so be creative.

Unit 5 – Theoretical and Conceptual Framework of Needs Assessment Planning Tools


In the Unit 3 introduction, you explored the systemic forces that can impede the change efforts for developing and tackling the problem concept using force field analysis and SWOT analysis. However, the complexity of the needs-based issues and planning requires the development of a balanced SAF.

To develop such a balanced SAF, it must be informed by the theoretical and conceptual framework of needs assessment planning tools and data gathering. While the theoretical framework reflects the broader aspects of the needs-based issues as informed by the literature reviewed or sources of community data gathered during the previous unit, the conceptual framework focuses on the narrow aspect of the needs-based issues that define the problem concept.

The framework for theorizing and conceptualizing the needs assessment planning will thus require a combined analytic efforts if a balanced SAF can be established to better shape the problem concept. Such combined analytic efforts may not only use force field analysis and SWOT analysis, but also can determine the needs-based factors using fishbone analytic charts and PEST analysis.

The fishbone analytic chart depicting the skeleton of a fish is a diagram used to identify and categorize the probable causes of the problem concept. The PEST analysis, which is used to identify the macro-environmental factors outside an organization but inherent in the community, can thus implicate the problem concept of the service delivery systems of the organization, representing political, economic, social, and technological issues.

The PEST is, however, also known by other families of analytic acronyms such as PESTLE, STEP, or SLEPT analysis. PESTLE represents analysis for political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental aspects of a needs-based situation.

STEP is basically a rearrangement of the PEST, and so is SLEPT a rearrangement of PESTLE analysis but with the exception of its environmental aspect.

Thus, there are other variations of the PEST analytic tool but their underlying premises are quite similar. However, the Lovebug analytic diagrammatic framework can prove to be more suitable in the facilitation of the combined analytic efforts for establishing the balanced SAF. For instance, the Lovebug diagram is a systemic-focused approach that combines force field analysis and fishbone analytic chart coupled with some aspects of the PEST or PESTLE with implied implications of the SWOT analysis.

Therefore, by using the variations or combined needs-based analytic tools can aid in assessing and gathering relevant data that structure the SAF of public or community needs assessment and planning. Note that the relevant data can be qualitative or quantitative or both, and hence, other data gathering tools such as survey, interviews with focus group, and success and concept mapping might be required. These topics will be explored in the next unit.


To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:

1. Explore needs-based theorization and conceptualization for developing a balanced situational analysis framework.

2. Examine methods of predictive database use to inform public needs assessment projects.

3. Explore various situational analysis framework analytic tools used for needs-based prioritization that incorporate community input for needs assessment projects.

4. Assess methods of needs definition and prioritization that reflect diverse public values in public needs assessments.

5. Identify appropriate roles for the public and government in public needs assessment and planning.


Note: Be certain to read the unit introduction, as it may contain important information and references pertaining to this unit’s content and activities.

Use your Conducting Needs Assessments text to complete the following:

Read Chapter 1, “Conceptual, Theoretical, and Practical Considerations When Undertaking Needs Assessments,” pages 3–18.

Read Chapter 2, “Sociopolitical and Economic Considerations,” pages 19–34.

Read Chapter 3, “Social, Gender, and Cultural Considerations,” pages 35–56.

Use the library to complete the following:

Read Card’s 2013 article, “A New Tool for Hazard Analysis and Force-Field Analysis: The Lovebug Diagram,” from Clinical Risk , volume 19, issue 4/5, pages 87–92.

Read Clary and Wandersee’s 2010 article, “Fishbone Diagrams: Organize Reading Content With a ‘Bare Bones’ Strategy,” from Science Scope , volume 33, issue 9, pages 31–37.

Read Halik’s 2012 article, “The Application of PEST Analysis Based on EBRD and IBRD Methodology,” from Central European Business Review , volume 1, issue 3, pages 14–21.

Riverbend City Media

Riverbend City: Needs Assessment Interviews and Proposals ????Transcript

Riverbend City: Needs Assessment and Prioritization ????Transcript

In this unit, you will be utilizing the Riverbend City simulation for a public needs assessment prioritization and case study analysis project. The simulation case analysis for this course is focused on a specific neighborhood in Riverbend City. A

public needs assessment and related planning for this part of the community had been performed 10 years ago, but the plan has not been reviewed since then. As a result of the recent disaster, it is obvious that the area has undergone some

major changes, and a new needs assessment and plan should be completed. You will be using the two Riverbend City project scenario simulations in the discussion and assignment in this unit.

Complete the following:

Read Riverbend City: Needs Assessment and Prioritization to complete the multimedia presentation. In this simulation, you will complete an interactive exercise to aid in the needs prioritization process.

Read Riverbend City Needs Assessment Interviews and Proposals to complete the multimedia presentation. In this simulation, you will interact with Ruby Lake’s NAC, interview them about the survey results, and complete an interactive activity to aid in the Riverbend City project assessment.


1. Analyzes key components of the effectiveness of problem solving process of the two Riverbend City project simulations as a needs assessment case study,  providing support for the arguments.

2.  Uses interactive exercise to predict and analyze the Riverbend City project’s needs-based issues prioritization, providing support for the arguments.

3.  Analyzes and synthesizes scholarly literature-based data sources as components of theoretical and conceptual framework shaping public needs

assessment of the Riverbend City project. 

4.  Describes situational analysis framework of the Riverbend City project’s needs-based issues, providing support for the arguments.

5.  Uses effective combined variations of needsbased analytic tools to

assess potential systemic forces of the Riverbend City project, providing support for the arguments.

6.  Synthesizes data analysis processes of the Riverbend City project that enhance public values to support public needs assessment projects.

7.  Identifies stakeholder roles, defines problem concept and measurement levels,

provides effective problem-resolution recommendations, and justifiable rationales to support public needs assessment of the Riverbend City project.

8.  Demonstrates effective academic analysis through writing with one or fewer grammatical or APA style errors on each page.