Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Importance of needs assessment in alleviating poverty

Most projects on poverty alleviation fail because they are not based on adequate needs assessment. This paper aims at demonstrating how an individual would evolve a poverty alleviation project based on sound needs assessment. The paper will firstly explore the definition of key terms in the question like needs assessment and poverty followed by the main body and then end with a conclusion.
By definition, Fundamentally, poverty is a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and cloth a family, not having a school or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living in marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation, (United Nations).
Needs assessment is a process for determining and addressing needs, or "gaps" between current conditions and desired conditions, often used for improvement in individuals, education/training, organizations, or communities. The need can be a desire to improve current performance or to correct a deficiency. The idea of needs assessment, as part of the planning process, has been used under different names for a long time. In the past 50 years, it has been an essential element of educational planning.Over the past four decades, there has been a proliferation of models for needs assessment with dozens of models to choose from.
Poverty alleviation refers to attempts in trying to reduce poverty levels in a nation. There has been a number of attempts in trying to alleviate poverty. However, these attempts were not based on proper needs assessment of that particular community. There is need to use a sound needs assessment whereby before the project is embarked on, there is need for a team of researchers to go into the field to find out the main problem or the needs and expectation of the people at the glass root. While its true that poverty is manifested at different as it is a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services. It includes a lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods; hunger and malnutrition; ill health; limited or lack of access to education and other basic services; increased morbidity and mortality from illness; homelessness and inadequate housing; unsafe environments and social discrimination and exclusion. It is also characterized by lack of participation in decision making and in civil, social and cultural life. It occurs in all countries: as mass poverty in many developing countries, pockets of poverty amid wealth in developed countries, loss of livelihoods as a result of economic recession, sudden poverty as a result of disaster or conflict, the poverty of low-wage workers, and the utter destitution of people who fall outside family support systems, social institutions and safety nets, (World Summit on Social Development). There is need for researchers first to establish what the people at the place where poverty need to be reduced really needs and what can be done about them.
In the needs assessment process, researchers will be looking for things like helping the communities to meet nutritional requirements, to escape avoidable disease, to be sheltered, to be clothed, to be able to travel, and to be educated.
Needs assement process should be well defined with specific areas which needs to be addressed. People are living in poverty if their income and resources (material, cultural and social) are so inadequate as to preclude them from having a standard of living which is regarded as acceptable by Irish society generally. As a result of inadequate income and resources people may be excluded and marginalised from participating in activities which are considered the norm for other people in society. Considered the "father of needs assessment," Roger Kaufman first developed a model for determining needs defined as a gap in results. This particular emphasis in results focuses on the outcomes (or ends) that result from an organizaton's products, processes, or inputs (the means to the ends). Kaufman argues that an actual need can only be identified independent of premature selection of a solution (wherein processes are defined as means to an end, not an end unto themselves). To conduct a quality needs assessment according to Kaufman, you first determine the current results, articulate the desired results, and the distance between results is the actual need. Once a need is identified, then a solution can be selected that is targeted to closing the gap. Kaufman's model in particular identifies gaps in needs at the societal level, what Kaufman calls "Mega" planning, along with gaps at the Macro (or organizational) and Micro level.
Kaufman articulated 13 specific societal-level needs for which all organizations are partially responsible (based on data collected from countries around the world), all of which contribute ultimately to self-sufficiency and these needs need to be taken to consideration by researchers before the poverty alleviation project starts. Researchers needs assessment according to Kaufman may be in the following areas:
War and/or riot and/or terrorism; Shelter; Unintended human-cased changes to the environment, including permanent destruction of the environment and/or rendering it non-renewable; Murder, rape, or crimes of violence, robery, or destruction of property; Substance abuse; Disease; Pollution; Starvation and/or malnutrition; Child abuse; Partner/spouse/elder abuse; Injuries and accidents, including transportation, home, and business/workplace; Discrimination based on irrelevant variables including color, race, creed, sex, religion, national origin, age, and location and Poverty.
Some researchers recommends the use of models for establishing needs assessment processes in the targets communities. Apart from Kaufman’s thirteen model of establishing needs assessment, other models define needs assessment as a process for determining and addressing needs, or "gaps" between current conditions and desired conditions or gaps between current and desired products. Leigh, et al. conducted a comparison of the major needs assessment models in 2000 based on the level of organizational planning each addressed and the direction of linkages between the levels of planning. Models like the chain models help in alleviating poverty. Shafloot has his contribution to the needs assessment by adding a new unique model called Needs Chain Model which is composed of aligned horizontal and virtual processes in which there are four different kinds of needs that describe and identify the ultimate performance goal, solutions, and what might affect these solutions. It can be illustrated as performance, instruments, and conscious and unconscious needs. Also, it has four vertical factors that consider organizational and individual needs, causes, and level of objectivity for all needs.
It is clear here that in alleviating poverty, the Needs Chain Model provides tools that assist organizations in prioritizing resources and identifying areas that require improvement. Figure 1 identifies four main types of need that must be considered, for example, for determining the organization’s goals and the instrument needs with full understanding of the unconscious needs. Another factor determines the objectivity level.
In alleviating poverty, there is really need to asses the demands, needs and aspirations of the target community. There should be a deliberate inquiry or systematic inquiry of training needs within the researchers for the purposes of identifying priorities and making decisions, and allocating finite resources in a manner consistent with identified program goals and objectives.
Since poverty is in the community, there is need for community needs assessment. Gupta et al. developed a model focused at the community level they term community needs analysis. Their model involves identifying material problems/deficits/weaknesses and advantages/opportunities /strengths, and evaluating possible solutions that take those qualities into consideration. Note that this is different from Kaufman's Mega model that focuses on identifying societal-level needs.
Community needs assessment involves assessing the needs that people have in order to live in: “an ecologically sustainable environment, a community that maintains and develops viable social capital, a way that meets their own economic and financial requirements and a manner that permits political participation in decisions that affect themselves. Community needs assessment as a technique thus forms a part of an Ecologically Sustainable Community Economic Development (ESCED). It forms a first step in any project that aims to secure or alleviating poverty in a particular community:
Ecological enhancement: minimizing ecological impact or ameliorating any ecological damage; Social vitality: building a community that meets all the social and human needs of its members; Economic resilience: "shock-proofing" local "green" business enterprises as much as possible; Political participation in ways that ensure the participation of people in political decisions that affect them.
Community needs assessment can really help alleviate poverty within the members and among those target communities. Since needs assessment is a process that is used throughout education, government, and the private sector as a way of generating information that can be useful for solving some problem. The idea of needs assessment is hardly new; it has been used, under different names, for millennia as part of the planning process. Certainly, in the past 50 years or so, needs assessment has been, and continues to be, a cornerstone of educational planning at all levels.
A recent search for information on "needs assessment" using Google as a search engine, yielded some 413,000 references. Many of the sites offer very detailed descriptions of what needs assessment "is" and the steps required to undertake one. The purpose of this page on ADPRIMA is to distill much of this into a practical, straightforward description of the fundamental ideas of needs assessment. With that in mind, let’s begin.
Researchers who want to alleviate poverty need to distinguish needs and wants to the target community where this poverty alleviation is to take place. It seems reasonable to assert that wants trump needs. This is an opinion, but I think it is fundamental to the entire process. I suppose it comes down to a way of perceiving how meaning is derived from our choice and use of words and phrases.
We humans "need" things because of our wants. The things we need are comprised of physical objects such as food and shelter, as well as processes, such as root canals and haircuts. We also have come to "need" information such as the percent of students scoring at a particular level, or the total of charitable deductions for income tax purposes. As human beings, we also have emotional and psychological needs. Regardless of what we deem to be needs, they are all incontrovertibly linked directly to our wants. We need things either to happen or not happen because of what we want. We need certain conditions because of our wants. Abraham Maslow, (1908-1970) described the hierarchy of needs (being and deficit) that all humans strive to satisfy or to ameliorate. Regardless, the position here is that based on our wants, if something is "needed," it means we must have it, must get it, must obtain it. It is not a difficult concept. In some cases, such as the deficit needs described by Maslow, in order to obtain what we want, we may actually "need" less of something. Poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being, and comprises many dimensions. It includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity. Poverty also encompasses low levels of health and education, poor access to clean water and sanitation, inadequate physical security, lack of voice, and insufficient capacity and opportunity to better one’s life.
Wants are sort of a priori transactions. We want one thing or one condition or another simply because we do. Our wants do not necessarily have to be justified. I want a red car, because I like red. I want to finish a report because it is important. Regardless of what our wants are, and they can be, to an outside observer, quite irrelevant or very important, our wants provide the criteria for determining what we need in order to satisfy them.
For needs assessment in poverty alleviation can be traced back in the history of poverty. Before the industrial revolution, poverty had been mostly accepted as inevitable as economies produced little, making wealth scarce. In Antwerp and Lyons, two of the largest cities in western Europe, by 1600 three-quarters of the total population were too poor to pay taxes. In 18th century England, half the population was at least occasionally dependent on charity for subsistence. In modern times, food shortages have been reduced dramatically in the developed world, thanks to agricultural technologies such as nitrogen fertilizers, pesticides and new irrigation methods. Also, mass production of goods in places such as China has made what were once considered luxuries, such as vehicles or computers, inexpensive and thus accessible to many who were otherwise too poor to afford them. Rises in the costs of living make poor people less able to afford items. Poor people spend a greater portion of their budgets on food than richer people. As a result, poor households and those near the poverty threshold can be particularly vulnerable to increases in food prices. For example, in late 2007 increases in the price of grains led to food riots in some countries. The World Bank warned that 100 million people were at risk of sinking deeper into poverty. Threats to the supply of food may also be caused by drought and the water crisis. Intensive farming often leads to a vicious cycle of exhaustion of soil fertility and decline of agricultural yields. Approximately 40% of the world's agricultural land is seriously degraded. In Africa, if current trends of soil degradation continue, the continent might be able to feed just 25% of its population by 2025, according to UNU's Ghana-based Institute for Natural Resources in Africa. Health care can be widely unavailable to the poor. The loss of health care workers emigrating from impoverished countries has a damaging effect. For example, an estimated 100,000 Philippine nurses emigrated between 1994 and 2006. There are more Ethiopian doctors in Chicago than in Ethiopia.
Needs assessment in poverty alleviation might also want to look at issues of demography like overpopulation and lack of access to birth control methods drive poverty. The world's population is expected to reach nearly 9 billion in 2040. However, the reverse is also true, that poverty causes overpopulation as it gives women little power to control giving birth, or to have educational attainment or a career. The unwillingness of governments and feudal elites to give full-fledged property rights in land to their tenants is cited as the chief obstacle to development. This lack of economic freedom inhibits entrepreneurship among the poor. New enterprises and foreign investment can be driven away by the results of inefficient institutions, notably corruption, weak rule of law and excessive bureaucratic burdens. Lack of financial services, as a result of restrictive regulations, such as the requirements for banking licenses, makes it hard for even smaller microsavings programs to reach the poor.
Illiteracy can be part of the needs assement techniques in the poverty alleviation process. It takes two days, two bureaucratic procedures, and k1,000,000 to open a business in Zambia while an entrepreneur in Zimbabwe might need K500,000 for business. All these facets need to be assessed. Similarly substance abuse, including for example alcoholism and drug abuse can consign people to vicious poverty cycles. Infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis can perpetuate poverty by diverting health and economic resources from investment and productivity; malaria decreases GDP growth by up to 1.3% in some developing nations and AIDS decreases African growth by 0.3-1.5% annually. War, political instability and crime, including violent gangs and drug cartels, also discourage investment. Civil wars and conflicts in Africa cost the continent some $300 billion between 1990 and 2005. Eritrea and Ethiopia spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the war that resulted in minor border changes. Shocks in the business cycle affect poverty rates, increasing in recessions and declining in booms. Cultural factors, such as discrimination of various kinds, can negatively affect productivity such as age discrimination, stereotyping,[53] gender discrimination, racial discrimination, and caste discrimination.[54]
Max Weber and the modernization theory suggest that cultural values could affect economic success. However, researchers have gathered evidence that suggest that values are not as deeply ingrained and that changing economic opportunities explain most of the movement into and out of poverty, as opposed to shifts in values. Needs assessment should help researchers in determining and addressing needs, or "gaps" between current conditions and desired conditions, often used for improvement projects in education/training, organizations, or communities.
If an initial assessment conducted by the project team confirmed that there was a real need for a repository of media items about a certain state and things did not go well in sorting out the problem, the strategy need to be changed and this means that needs assessment were not not properly done.
Needs assessments are important in establishing poverty effects or levels of poverty in a target or particular community of concern. Hunger, disease, and less education describe a person in poverty. One third of deaths - some 18 million people a year or 50,000 per day - are due to poverty-related causes: in total 270 million people, most of them women and children, have died as a result of poverty since 1990. Those living in poverty suffer disproportionately from hunger or even starvation and disease. Those living in poverty suffer lower life expectancy. According to the World Health Organization, hunger and malnutrition are the single gravest threats to the world's public health and malnutrition is by far the biggest contributor to child mortality, present in half of all cases. Every year nearly 11 million children living in poverty die before their fifth birthday. 1.02 billion people go to bed hungry every night. Poverty increases the risk of homelessness. There are over 100 million street children worldwide. Increased risk of drug abuse may also be associated with poverty. According to the Global Hunger Index, South Asia has the highest child malnutrition rate of the world's regions. Nearly half of all Indian children are undernourished, one of the highest rates in the world and nearly double the rate of Sub-Saharan Africa. Every year, more than half a million women die in pregnancy or childbirth. Almost 90% of maternal deaths occur in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, compared to less than 1% in the developed world.
Women who have born children into poverty may not be able to nourish the children efficiently and provide adequate care in infancy. The children may also suffer from disease that has been passed down to the child through birth. Asthma and rickets are common problems children acquire when born into poverty.
Needs assessment in poverty alleviation needs to be carried even in eduction circles for the target community. Research has found that there is a high risk of educational underachievement for children who are from low-income housing circumstances. This often is a process that begins in primary school for some less fortunate children. In Zambian educational system, these children are at a higher risk than other children for retention in their grade, special placements during the school's hours and even not completing their high school education. There are indeed many explanations for why students tend to drop out of school. For children with low resources, the risk factors are similar to excuses such as juvenile delinquency rates, higher levels of teenage pregnancy, and the economic dependency upon their low income parent or parents.Families and society who submit low levels of investment in the education and development of less fortunate children end up with less favorable results for the children who see a life of parental employment reduction and low wages. Higher rates of early childbearing with all the connected risks to family, health and well-being are majorly important issues to address since education from preschool to high school are both identifiably meaningful in a life. Poverty often drastically affects children's success in school. A child's "home activities, preferences, mannerisms" must align with the world and in the cases that they do not these students are at a disadvantage in the school and most importantly the classroom. Therefore, it is safe to state that children who live at or below the poverty level will have far less success educationally than children who live above the poverty line. Poor children have a great deal less healthcare and this ultimately results in many absences from the academic year. Additionally, poor children are much more likely to suffer from hunger, fatigue, irritability, headaches, ear infections, flu, and colds. These illnesses could potentially restrict a child or student's focus and concentration.
Needs assessment in poverty alleviation needs to be carried also in shelter or housing circles for the target community. Slum-dwellers, who make up a third of the world's urban population, live in a poverty no better, if not worse, than rural people, who are the traditional focus of the poverty in the developing world, according to a report by the United Nations. Most of the children living in institutions around the world have a surviving parent or close relative, and they most commonly entered orphanages because of poverty. Experts and child advocates maintain that orphanages are expensive and often harm children's development by separating them from their families. It is speculated that, flush with money, orphanages are increasing and push for children to join even though demographic data show that even the poorest extended families usually take. According to a UN report on modern slavery, the most common form of human trafficking is for prostitution, which is largely fueled by poverty. In Zimbabwe, a number of girls are turning to prostitution for food to survive because of the increasing poverty. In one survey, 67% of children from disadvantaged inner cities said they had witnessed a serious assault, and 33% reported witnessing a homicide. 51% of fifth graders from New Orleans (median income for a household: $27,133) have been found to be victims of violence, compared to 32% in Washington, DC (mean income for a household: $40,127).
Also there are also many effects of poverty closer to home. For example after dropping out of school children may turn to violence as a source of income i.e mugging people, betting during street fights etc...
Needs assessment in poverty alleviation needs to be carried out with care. Historically, poverty reduction has been largely a result of economic growth. The industrial revolution led to high economic growth and eliminated mass poverty in what is now considered the developed world. In 1820, 75% of humanity lived on less than a dollar a day, while in 2001, only about 20% do. As three quarters of the world's poor live in the country side, the World Bank cites helping small farmers as the heart of the fight against poverty. Economic growth in agriculture is, on average, at least twice as effective in benefiting the poorest half of a country's population as growth generated in non-agricultural sectors. However, aid is essential in providing better lives for those who are already poor and in sponsoring medical and scientific efforts such as the Green Revolution and the eradication of smallpox. In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Max Weber first suggested that cultural values could affect economic success, arguing that the Protestant Reformation led to values that drove people toward worldly achievements, a hard work ethic,[82] and saving to accumulate wealth for investment. The new religions (in particular, Calvinism and other more austere Protestant sects) effectively forbade wastefully using hard earned money and identified the purchase of luxuries a sin. Ian Vásquez, director of the Cato Institute's Project on Global Economic Liberty, wrote that extending property rights protection to the poor is one of the most important poverty reduction strategies a nation could take. Securing property rights to land, the largest asset for most societies, is vital to their economic freedom. The World Bank concludes increasing land rights is 'the key to reducing poverty' citing that land rights greatly increase poor people's wealth, in some cases doubling it. Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto has estimated that state recognition of the property of the poor would give them assets worth 40 times all the foreign aid since 1945. Although approaches varied, the World Bank said the key issues were security of tenure and ensuring land transactions were low cost. In China and India, noted reductions in poverty in recent decades have occurred mostly as a result of the abandonment of collective farming in China and the cutting of government red tape in India. However, ending government sponsorship of social programs is sometimes advocated as a free market principle with tragic consequences. For example, the World Bank presses poor nations to eliminate subsidies for fertilizer even while many farmers cannot afford them at market prices. The reconfiguration of public financing in former Soviet states during their transition to a market economy called for reduced spending on health and education, sharply increasing poverty. Trade liberalization increases the total surplus of trading nations. Remittances sent to poor countries, such as India, are sometimes larger than foreign direct investment and total remittances are more than double aid flows from OECD countries. Foreign investment and export industries helped fuel the economic expansion of fast growing Asian nations. However, trade rules are often unfair as they block access to richer nations' markets and ban poorer nations from supporting their industries. Processed products from poorer nations, in contrast to raw materials, get vastly higher tariffs at richer nations' ports. A University of Toronto study found the dropping of duty charges on thousands of products from African nations because of the African Growth and Opportunity Act was directly responsible for a "surprisingly large" increase in imports from Africa. However, Chinese textile and clothing exports have encountered criticism from Europe, the United States and some African countries.
Deals can also be negotiated to favor developing countries such as China, where laws compel foreign multinationals to train their future Chinese competitors in strategic industries and render themselves redundant in the long term. In Thailand, the 51 percent rule compels multinational corporations starting operations in Thailand to give 51 percent control to a Thai company in a joint venture.
Needs assessment in poverty alleviation needs to be carried also in infrastructure, and other circles for the target community. Investments in human capital, in the form of health, is needed for economic growth. Nations do not necessarily need wealth to gain health. For example, Sri Lanka had a maternal mortality rate of 2% in the 1930s, higher than any nation today. It reduced it to .5-.6% in the 1950s and to .06% today while spending less each year on maternal health because it learned what worked and what did not. Cheap water filters and promoting hand washing are some of the most cost effective health interventions and can cut deaths from diarrhea and pneumonia. Knowledge on the cost effectiveness of healthcare interventions can be elusive but educational measures to disseminate what works are available, such as the disease control priorities project. Human capital, in the form of education, is an even more important determinant of economic growth than physical capital. Deworming children costs about 50 cents per child per year and reduces non-attendance from anemia, illness and malnutrition and is only a twenty-fifth as expensive to increase school attendance as by constructing schools. UN economists argue that good infrastructure, such as roads and information networks, helps market reforms to work. China claims it is investing in railways, roads, ports and rural telephones in African countries as part of its formula for economic development. It was the technology of the steam engine that originally began the dramatic decreases in poverty levels. Cell phone technology brings the market to poor or rural sections. With necessary information, remote farmers can produce specific crops to sell to the buyers that brings the best price.
Such technology also makes financial services accessible to the poor. Those in poverty place overwhelming importance on having a safe place to save money, much more so than receiving loans. Also, a large part of microfinance loans are spent on products that would usually be paid by a checking or savings account. Mobile banking addresses the problem of the heavy regulation and costly maintenance of saving accounts.[8] Mobile financial services in the developing world, ahead of the developed world in this respect, could be worth $5 billion by 2012. Safaricom's M-Pesa launched one of the first systems where a network of agents of mostly shopkeepers, instead of bank branches, would take deposits in cash and translate these onto a virtual account on customers' phones. Cash transfers can be done between phones and issued back in cash with a small commission, making remittances safer.
Needs assessment in poverty alleviation should also look at how aid is being used in aparticular country in alleviating poverty. One of the proposed ways to help poor countries has been debt relief. Many less developed nations have gotten themselves into extensive debt to banks and governments from the rich nations and interest payments on these debts are often more than a country can generate per year in profits from exports. If poor countries do not have to spend so much on debt payments, they can use the money instead for priorities which help reduce poverty such as basic health-care and education. For example, Zambia began offering services, such as free health care even while overwhelming the health care infrastructure, because of savings that resulted from the rounds of debt relief in 2005.Efficient institutions that are not corrupt and obey the rule of law make and enforce good laws that provide security to property and businesses. Efficient and fair governments would work to invest in the long-term interests of the nation rather than plunder resources through corruption. Researchers at UC Berkeley developed what they called a "Weberianness scale" which measures aspects of bureaucracies and governments Max Weber described as most important for rational-legal and efficient government over 100 years ago. Comparative research has found that the scale is correlated with higher rates of economic development. With their related concept of good governance World Bank researchers have found much the same: Data from 150 nations have shown several measures of good governance (such as accountability, effectiveness, rule of law, low corruption) to be related to higher rates of economic development. The United Nations Development Program published a report in April 2000 which focused on good governance in poor countries as a key to economic development and overcoming the selfish interests of wealthy elites often behind state actions in developing nations. The report concludes that "Without good governance, reliance on trickle-down economic development and a host of other strategies will not work."
Needs assessment in poverty alleviation should also eplore the possibility of empowering or the limited powers women have in those communities. Empowering women has helped some countries increase and sustain economic development. When given more rights and opportunities women begin to receive more education, thus increasing the overall human capital of the country; when given more influence women seem to act more responsibly in helping people in the family or village; and when better educated and more in control of their lives, women are more successful in bringing down rapid population growth because they have more say in family planning.Poverty is usually measured as either absolute or relative poverty (the latter being actually an index of income inequality). Absolute poverty refers to a set standard which is consistent over time and between countries. The World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than US $1.25 (PPP) per day, and moderate poverty as less than $2 a day (but note that a person or family with access to subsistence resources, e.g. subsistence farmers, may have a low cash income without a correspondingly low standard of living - they are not living "on" their cash income but using it as a top up). It estimates that "in 2001, 1.1 billion people had consumption levels below $1 a day and 2.7 billion lived on less than $2 a day." Six million children die of hunger every year - 17,000 every day. Selective Primary Health Care has been shown to be one of the most efficient ways in which absolute poverty can be eradicated in comparison to Primary Health Care which has a target of treating diseases. Disease prevention is the focus of Selective Primary Health Care which puts this system on higher grounds in terms of preventing malnutrition and illness, thus putting an end to Absolute Poverty. The proportion of the developing world's population living in extreme economic poverty fell from 28 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2001. Most of this improvement has occurred in East and South Asia. In East Asia the World Bank reported that "The poverty headcount rate at the $2-a-day level is estimated to have fallen to about 27 percent [in 2007], down from 29.5 percent in 2006 and 69 percent in 1990." In Sub-Saharan Africa extreme poverty went up from 41 percent in 1981 to 46 percent in 2001which combined with growing population increased the number of people living in extreme poverty from 231 million to 318 million. In the early 1990s some of the transition economies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia experienced a sharp drop in income.[133] The collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in large declines in GDP per capita, of about 30 to 35% between 1990 and the trough year of 1998 (when it was at its minimum). As a result poverty rates also increased although in subsequent years as per capita incomes recovered the poverty rate dropped from 31.4% of the population to 19.6% The World Bank issued a report predicting that between 2007 and 2027 the populations of Georgia and Ukraine will decrease by 17% and 24% respectively. World Bank data shows that the percentage of the population living in households with consumption or income per person below the poverty line has decreased in each region of the world since 1990: Other human development indicators have also been improving. Life expectancy has greatly increased in the developing world since WWII and is starting to close the gap to the developed world. Child mortality has decreased in every developing region of the world. The proportion of the world's population living in countries where per-capita food supplies are less than 2,200 calories (9,200 kilojoules) per day decreased from 56% in the mid-1960s to below 10% by the 1990s. Similar trends can be observed for literacy, access to clean water and electricity and basic consumer items.
It can be concluded that needs assessment is done systematically and is the evaluation of current system and programmatic operations and projected needs. This evaluation is performed as part of the system development life cycle prior to design, and implementation. Evaluation of the requirements or demands for health services by a population or community. It help in determining goals, identifying discrepancies between optimal and actual performance, and establishing priorities for action. Related terms: Training needs assessment, needs analysis, front end analysis, task and subject matter analysis as discussed in the paper. A needs assessment is a great way to do all of the analysis and design work for a project before committing to the full development phase. During this rigorous process, we meet with the client to discuss the site's functionality and purposefully.

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