Training Needs Assessment

CIDT’s Approach to Needs Assessment

The first and often most critical stage of any capacity strengthening (CS) intervention is determining the client’s particular needs and expectations. CIDT has many years of experience of undertaking that exercise in a wide range of project and programme settings, ranging from training needs assessment (TNA) to organisational appraisal to a range of stakeholder consultation techniques. We regularly carry out a ‘mini’ needs analysis for every assignment we embark on, which informs the design of a bespoke CS programme that is relevant to the specific context and meets the beneficiaries’ particular needs.

In conducting needs assessment, we use a reflective action, research‐based approach. We view the process and outcomes of the assessment as opportunities for organisational learning (OL), and therefore follow a consultative and participatory process. We understand the importance of generating practical lessons to inform institutional learning and support CS of targeted learning programmes.

The needs assessment process usually consists of several clear steps:

  1. Identifying and filtering the client’s ‘needs’, ‘wants’ and ‘demands.’
  2. Analysing the prioritized needs to determine how best they might be met.
  3. Specifying the gaps between what people are capable of doing now, what they should be doing, and what they are expected to do in future.
  4. Setting a clear vision of the ‘future possible’ relating to organisational, programme, or project mandate, goals and objectives.
Photo: Kimberly Ross

Photo: Kimberly Ross

CIDT’s Handbook of Training Needs Assessment

Training Needs AssessmentOur experience with this kind of work has been captured in our Handbook of Training Needs Assessment in Seven Simple Steps. See our Managing for Development Results page for samples of our training handbooks.