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Network Paper 69: Common Needs Assessments and Humanitarian Action

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Resource type:Research, reports and studies
Language:English
Keywords:Needs assessment
Agency:ODI - Overseas Development Institute, ODI - Overseas Development Institute
Author(s): Garfield, R., Blake, C., Chatainger, P., and Walton-ellery, S.
Date published:April 2011
Pages:34pp.

 Network Paper 69 summarises the basic characteristics of a Common Needs Assessment (CNA) and reviews experience in using assessments in recent years.

The authors note that while good Common Needs Assessments can help to develop a better joint understanding of needs, capabilities, and appropriate response, in trying to meet too many objectives, CNAs have sometimes failed to live up to this potential. Carrying out a CNA takes time and resources; even when funds and experienced assessors are available, results have not always been useful or timely.

Drawing on field experience from more than a dozen CNAs, this paper identifies the opportunities, costs and trade-offs involved in carrying them out and provides an overview of steps which can be taken to avert common problems.

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