Read Assessment Methodology Presentation Mar 11 text version

UNDAC & Needs Assessment

31 March 2011 UNDAC Induction Course, Lausanne

Assessment Methodology

Objectives: Clarify definitions of needs assessment and related terms

Understand the purpose and importance of emergency needs assessment; the challenges of carrying them out and the differing requirements in different phases

Be aware of the key principles of assessments and the main actors, tools and guidance involved Understand UNDAC's role in Phase 1/2 assessments and how this links with assessments in earlier and future phases Be aware of the aims and limitations of Phase 1 assessments Have an understanding of planning; appropriate data collection; analysis techniques; reporting requirements and related pitfalls

Definitions and Framework

What do we mean by a Needs Assessment? Exercise: 1. How would you define a needs assessment? 2. What is its purpose? 3. What are its intrinsic limitations at the early stage of a disaster?

4. Why is it important?

5. When should it take place?

Phases and data volume

Increasing detail & representativeness (i.e.complexity)

Data collection volume

Phase 4 Phase 3 In depth sectoral needs assessment

Representative sampling

Com questionnaire HH questionnaire

Monitoring /surveillance

Impact assessment

Phase 2 Phase 1 Preliminary scenario definition

Secondary information Field visits


Multi cluster Rapid needs assessment

Purposive sampling

Community questionnaire

3 days

15 days

30 days ...after onset

Needs Assessment Framework ­ NATF 2010

UNDACs role ...

Certainty / stability

Phase 2

Multi cluster Rapid needs assessment Purposive sampling Community questionnaire



3 days

15 days

Information needed during phase 1

Significant cultural, Level of national Recommendationsto Impact on society and Ability urgent relieffor Most of society Most vulnerable Coordination response ,& capacity to logistical political and international response segments of society infrastructure mechanisms needs cope security constraints cope

Coping ability

Information needed during phase 1

Exercise: Where can you get the information you have identified as important for Phase 1?

Knowledge timeline

Decisions are based on information from differing sources that change over time:

Primary data collection


Phase I II 72 hours

Baseline data: Population data Infrastructure data Previous disaster info


2 weeks

Collected by you and trusted sources!

Primary data

Personal interviews Field visits Direct observation Assessment reports satellite imagery Telcons

Pre event info and ,,hearsay

Satellite imagery Media reports Assessment reports Photos

Knowledge timeline

In reality phases overlap and PSD continually updated until superseded

Primary data collection


Phase I II 72 hours

starts 1st Report


2 weeks

Phase I assessments ongoing and reports(PSD) continuously updated

Phase I assessment Phase II assessment

Data collection begins

Report published

Needs Assessments ­ phase 1

Other assessments: National authorities ­ LEMA, local govt EU MIC FACT Teams NGOs Clusters? Limitations: Time


Developing Situation

Reliability of data


Lack of information

Lack of coordination

What is the purpose of a phase 1 NA?

Consider, measure, judge or estimate the degree to which they are affected

To identify:

Most affected groups ­ IDPs, Host population, refugees

Develop PSD

Recommendations for assistance

UNDAC and Needs Assessments


The Assessment Cycle & Support Tools

March 2011 UNDAC Induction Course, Lausanne

Needs assessment basic steps


Reporting & Dissemination

Data collection (2o and 1o data)

Data analysis

Needs Assessment ­ Planning

Key steps: 1. Secondary data review

2. Define your information need & therefore your objectives

3. Select target locations (Catchment Areas) & populations 4. Obtain baseline data & maps on CA 5. Decide data collection methodology, tools, formats 6. Assign roles and responsibilities within team 7. Logistical & security arrangements 8. Coordination

9. Agree timings & deadlines ­ collection, analysis, reporting

Needs Assessment ­ Data collection

Key principles: Based on SDR

Speed v Quality

Quantitative v Qualitative Collect only what can be used Standardised collection tool Consult the people affected Consider differing needs ­ marginalised groups Consider bias ­ sources & team

Look for changes to trends / the unexpected

Needs Assessment ­ Data analysis

Key principles: Requires time and skill to turn data into information ­ consult experts if available Be sceptical when dealing with comparisons; correlation does not mean causation

Use assumptions, judgement and "educated guess" ­ but make explicit in report

Cross check, triangulate and compare Analyse continually Gross error checks

Remember your aim!

Needs Assessment ­ Data analysis

How do we analyse? What are underlying issues and what are new?

Where can the community not cope?

What is urgent? What immediate steps can be taken Think percentages as well as absolute numbers Look for the ,,not obvious Ask: "so what?" What can/should be done within country and what needs to come from outside? What needs more investigation? Use sector thresholds and standards

Vulnerability & capacity flowchart (Ch G p11)


Are problems normal?


Are coping strategies adequate?



No need for response


What coping strategies have been developed and are these normal?

Why are the coping strategies not adequate? What is the gap between needs and capacities?


Does assistance from national sources fill the gaps?

No need for international assistance


Could / should gaps be filled by international assistance?


Recommend appropriate response

Needs Assessment ­ Data analysis

Do some ,,Gross Error Checks: Does your information support or contradict the secondary information? Does the information gathered from one informant support or contradict information from another?

Is the information collected by different members of the assessment team consistent?

Does the information make sense?

And finally...

Make some recommendations!

Scenario Development

Scenarios are used to understand different ways that future events might unfold. Scenario development relies on: · the creation of specific, informed assumptions about future events,

· their effects, and

· the likely responses of various actors The development of best, worst and most-likely case scenarios is recommended Is an iterative process

Needs Assessment ­ Reporting

Report preparation: Keep it short and present only necessary information


· new situational information · map or table if helpful · recommendations (including for further assessments)

Do not repeat commonly known information No executive summary


Highlights in Sitrep and announced at coord meeting Clusters, VOSSOC, Reliefweb, LEMA

Phase 1 Data Collection Tools

Tools: Support data collection and aggregation

Questionnaires V checklists V aide memoires

What is already in use in-country? UNDAC Handbook, EU-INAC, USAID-FOG, IFRC etc. Remember: Never allow the tool to take over Adapt according to the situation. Be cautious with (over) complex questionnaires. "Quick and dirty" is good enough

Phase 1 Data Collection Tools

Tools and guidance available: 1. UNDAC Handbook

2. NATF Operational Guidance

3. NATF Key indicators

4. ECHO - INAC tool

5. Preliminary Scenario Definition / Secondary Data review

6. Humanitarian

7. Humanitarian Dashboard

Needs Assessment ­ INAC Tool page 1

Needs Assessment ­ INAC Tool page 2

Example of Pakistan Dashboard

The Assessment Cycle and Tools


Over-arching principles

March 2011 UNDAC Induction Course, Lausanne

Principles of assessments

Group Exercise 1. What are the principles of effective assessments?


Coordination Validity Timeliness Adequacy Relevance


Objectivity Neutrality Impartiality





Sharing of data & analysis

Assessment ethics

Assessments arent neutral: they are ,,interventions, raising expectations that an intervention will happen. An ethical approach to conducting assessments demands: Participation Clear communication to ensure informed consent Confidentiality Assessment of risks to participants Commitment to follow up action Respect local leadership

Needs Assessment ­ Data analysis

Issues with data: Reliability and credibility issues

Too much / too little information

Bias issues Quantitative V Qualitative Level of data disaggregation Issues about spatial and temporal synchronisation of assessments Contradictive / inconsistent information Reconciliation of primary and secondary data

Needs Assessment ­ Bias

Organisational Bias · Mandate · Project · Specialization · Political Environmental bias · seasonal · spatial · time of day

Individual/Cultural · Class/Ethnicity · Religious · Gender · Personal history · Language

What bias have you encountered on assessment?


Phase 1 assessment is a tug of war:

No! Wait! We need more details

Hurry up! We need to produce a report...



Assessment Methodology Presentation Mar 11

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