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Conducting Health Information Needs Assessments

The Knowledge for Health (K4Health) project developed this guide in order to walk others through the process of assessing information needs among individuals working at different levels of the health system; to share lessons learned and tips for various methodologies; and to provide tools that can be used or adapted in future assessments. It is intended to be a useful reference material for all health professionals, including policy makers, program managers, and health care providers.

Sample Needs Assessment Concept Note

A sample concept note that includes the following sections: Objectives, Background and Rationale, Methodology, Process to Follow, Recruitment, Data Analysis, Use of the Results, Timeline, and Ethics Approval.

Needs Assessment Methodologies

The goals of this training presentation are:

  • Review different needs assessment methodologies
  • Discuss data analysis approaches and synthesis of findings
  • Outline the process for dissemination of findings
     

Exercise: Needs Assessment Questions and Methods

This activity allows participants to analyze the current knowledge sharing and management situation that their key audience is facing, discuss what they already know about the situation versus what they do not know, and specify appropriate methods to collect new information required to design effective knowledge management activities to improve the situation.

Introduction to Assessing Needs

The goal of Step 1 in the Knowledge Management (KM) Road Map is to understand the extent of the health program challenge and identify how KM can help solve it. This presentation in the Step 1 training module provides an overview of the key tasks involved in completing Step 1 of the Road Map. It starts with explaining what a needs assessment is, particularly as it relates to knowledge management, and why needs assessments are important to designing KM interventions.

Step 1 Trainer Guide

The Trainer Guide to each training module in the KM Training Package should be the starting point for the Trainer when developing training sessions around each module. The Trainer Guide describes the purpose of the training module, the total estimated time needed to deliver the module, and learning objectives of the module, and it provides a detailed sample agenda outlining how to piece together the different presentations, exercises, and breaks into a coherent session.

KM Case Study: Creating Technical Assistance Libraries to Capture Tacit Knowledge

In international nongovernmental organizations such as Pathfinder International, staff often lack quick and easy access to the expertise of their colleagues due to demands on time, competing priorities, and lack of systems to capture this knowledge. To address this issue, Pathfinder created a collection of high-quality technical resources that also includes the experiences of technical advisors in using the resources.

Sample Organizational Structures for Content

Information architecture is the practice of deciding how to organize, structure, and label content for a website, application, or other interface to support usability and findability of the information that the interface contains. More simply, information architecture is about helping people understand their surroundings and find what they’re looking for, and it forms a foundation for good user experience.

Exercise: Card Sorting for Organizing Resources

In this exercise, participants are asked to imagine they work for a family planning project that has produced a wide variety of publications on family planning programs and services. All the publications live on the project’s shared drive in a single folder. The participants have been tasked with organizing the information and making it available on the project’s SharePoint site. After talking with subject matter experts within the project, a list of concepts has been developed (see list of concepts in Step 1) that reflects the topics of the publications.

Organizing Content

The learning objectives for this presentation are:

  • Define information architecture and explain how it is used to organize web content
  • List the seven steps for organizing web content
  • Understand how card sorting can help organize web content
  • Recall the process for using two card sorting tools, affinity diagrams and mind mapping
     

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