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Former CETE staff releases groundbreaking needs assessment book

CETE announces the release by SAGE Publishing of Bridging the Gap Between Asset/Capacity Building and Needs Assessment: Concepts and Practical Applications by James Altschuld, PhD. Jim is a former staff member of CETE and the National Center for Research in Vocational Education (NCRVE), professor emeritus at The Ohio State University, and author of multiple other needs assessment (NA) books.

Bridging the Gap Between Asset/Capacity Building and Needs Assessment starts with a history and harsh criticisms of NA by those who argue that planning should be from assets and strengths and never from deficits, negatives, and needs. From there Altschuld compares asset/capacity building and NA on many dimensions and synthesizes an eight-step hybrid framework attentive to the antagonistic-based premises of each for conducting both. He explains the steps along with a checklist for evaluating hybrid applications and an examination of six real world cases in public health, the extension service, community development, and major city gun violence. The last chapter deals with subtle aspects of the framework and research that could be done on it.

Increasing numbers of hybrid examples are appearing in current literature. This is because problems related to planning for disaster relief, terrorism issues, health and public health programming, community development, and educational concerns will not be resolved by looking at needs or assets in isolation but in tandem. Doing so takes longer and is more involved but is perceived as leading to higher success (i.e., greater likelihood of problem resolution).

Reviewers of Bridging the Gap Between Asset/Capacity Building and Needs Assessment feel that it breaks new ground by analyzing the philosophical underpinnings of both approaches. It melds theory and practice and guides users through the process of hybrid studies in distinct settings and situations.

For more information, visit sagepub.com.

Latina Duffy