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Felt Needs and Anticipatory Needs: Reformulation of a Basic Community Development Principle

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Abstract

"Felt needs" is a basic concept in community development. Felt needs are changes deemed necessary by people to correct the deficiencies they perceive in their community. The use of felt needs in community development practice involves the process of identifying needs, ranking their importance, and building programs based on the ranking. A frequent application of the concept is the methodology of needs assessment as a technique to gather data used for program definition and design. This paper explains why the concept of felt needs is inadequate for contemporary community development practice and why the needs assessment methodology is not an appropriate basis for program design. Felt needs are products of a past-to-present orientation. Continuing to function on the basis of felt needs will contribute to community development becoming increasingly irrelevant and incapable of addressing today's major social and economic issues. Felt needs should be replaced by the concept "anticipatory needs," which identifies what needs to be done in order to move toward a specified future. Anticipatory needs are products of a present-to-future orientation. The distinction is critical to the practitioner because felt needs and anticipatory needs are very different "needs" and, therefore, lead to different programming activities and patterns of relationships with community groups.

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... The second path that may be taken is a path on which there is a clear commitment to discovering the capacities and assets of a community (Kretzmann & McKnight, 1993:1-2). According to Wade (1989), as part of the field's early conceptualisation, the emphasis on felt needs and problems was an important principle in community development during the 1920s and 1930s. Felt needs and problems has become such a basic element of community development that an activity that does not address a felt needs issue is not considered by most professionals to be proper community development. ...
... The deficiency-based approach is not designed to bring about change, but to improve community services, facilities and people's lives (Wade, 1989). The intention is to provide individuals and groups who are " left out " , with fuller access to the benefits of a democratic, industrial society. ...
... The intention is to provide individuals and groups who are " left out " , with fuller access to the benefits of a democratic, industrial society. Wade (1989) said: " The central goal is not change, but rather it is improving a community's services, facilities, living conditions and material well-being and upgrading the quality of social amenities " . Felt needs and problems identify perceptions of past problems as manifested in the present. ...
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Since the abolition of apartheid in South Africa in 1994 the policies and practices of social and community development has gained wide recognition as the most appropriate way to address inequities in South African society. As a result, a wide variety of community training programmes and models have been introduced and a great deal of resources have been invested in the training of students in community development. However, up to now the outcomes have mostly been disappointing. Most training programmes are based on the so-called top-down “expert approach,” with deficiencies or deficits as the point of departure and an emphasis on felt needs, problems and the role of the community developer as expert. This is problematic because the concept of felt needs is inadequate for contemporary community development practice and a needs-assessment methodology is not an appropriate basis for programme design. Felt needs are products of a pastto- present orientation in which attempts are made to fix the past. Such an approach is incapable of addressing South Africa’s social and economic problems (Wade, 1989).
... Study suggests any community education session is always helpful when it is designed according to the felt need of the community. 10 In this present study students had done this exercise using focus group discussion and based on the finding health educational session was planned. The benefit of the FGD is that it allows students to find out indepth information about the felt need of the community also to gather different views, perceptions and ideas of the villages. ...
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Aim: "Swachh Bharat Summer Internship programme" is an initiative of Indian government to involve the youth of the country for cleanliness activity in the community. It was utilized by MBBS students of a university in Bathinda, India as a source of opportunity for community medicine learning and service in the community. Materials and Methods: A mixed method study was planned in the month of June 2019 to assess attitude of the community towards solid and liquid waste disposal, provide community service related with this and arrange health education sessions for waste disposal. Nukkad natak, focus group discussion and video clipping were used to educate community and data were collected. Cleaning of roads and market area were done as service to the community. Feedback from the community about different activities and from the students about the whole programme was collected & analyzed. Results: Findings of the study have shown that villagers had a huge interest for different newer methods which were utilized for community health educational session. Similarly students had also liked the community service sessions however finding shows that requires some improvement in qualitative research techniques. Conclusion: Community's positive attitude towards waste disposal should be utilized judiciously for improving environmental cleanliness of the village. Similarly Positive feedback by the students' necessities that authority should conduct more and more community service and learning exercise involving different education model.
... Felt need is one of the main concepts and principles in community development because it prioritises community needs identification, ranking the needs in order of importance and designing interventions based on the ranking (Wade, 1989;Onyenemezu & Olumati, 2013;Sheriff, 2020). In other words, felt needs are changes considered necessary by individuals in the community to eradicate the challenges perceived in their community. ...
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... Such collaboration is recommended by WHO but only aspired for in Indian settings [42,43]. Further, we focused on working on the felt need for canine vaccination, which is imperative for its acceptance [43,44]. Mass vaccination of dog in India are driven by Non-Governmental Organisations and dependent on trust based funding [45][46][47]. ...
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Background Annually, in India, millions of dog bite cases occur; most of them are inflicted by a stray dog. There are over 25 million dogs in the country. The rate of stray dog vaccination is suboptimal in India. This study aims to develop an intervention strategy, using Intervention Mapping framework, tailored for the target community to achieve canine rabies controlled zone. Methodology This is an exploratory, cross-sectional study conducted at a tertiary care Medical Institute at Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, from 2018–2019. The semi-structured, In-Depth Discussion was conducted with a multidisciplinary planning group comprising of members from veterinary, health, and administrative sectors. The In-Depth Discussion focused on knowledge regarding complete stray dog vaccination schedule, self-efficacy (to prevent dog bites), challenges, and barriers faced by residents to achieve canine rabies controlled zone. Further, discussion with veterinary stakeholders focused on challenges faced for rigorous implementation of stray dog vaccination and sterilization. Results In-Depth Discussion revealed the following challenges: Lack of participation by the study population for canine vaccination, incomplete knowledge about annual canine vaccination schedule, lack of understanding of dog gestures, lack of infrastructure and resources at veterinary hospitals. The majority of the dogs in the study area were stray dogs that were partially or non-vaccinated and non-sterilized. An intersectoral collaboration was achieved between the community members, veterinary stakeholders both private and Non-Governmental organisations, and heath sector. Following which 35 (76.0%) stray dogs were vaccinated, and 17 (35.4%) were sterilized with community support. Burden of dog bite cases also decreased. The stray dog density map was prepared, and community engagement activity on dog gestures was conducted. Conclusion The present study demonstrates the feasibility of achieving canine rabies controlled zone. When implemented in a phase-wise manner across all Medical and Residential complex, this strategy would ensure achieving canine rabies controlled zone through multi-stakeholder engagement.
... Three points must be considered in this deliberation: (1) the perspective of the management and relevant staff wanting to establish learning support (internal), (2) the perspective of those who are performing the role (external), and (3) an anticipation about the future of learning advisors trying to accomplish the felt need. According to Wade (2009), anticipating the needs involves an identification of what needs to be done in order to move toward a specified future. In short, anticipatory needs are products of a present-to-future orientation; not present-to-past framework. ...
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... The community's needs map becomes the foundation of the mental map of professionals and the collective mind map of community members about their community and determines how problems are to be addressed (Kretzmann and McKnight, 1993). Problems are then prioritised, and this is followed by choosing a suitable community work model and designing, developing and implementing a deficiency-oriented plan, project or programme to address the needs (Nel, 2006;Wade, 1989). ...
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... There are some certain conditions that need to exist for citizen participation. People become more effectively involved in public policy issues when governments or public organizations provide following conditions (Wade, 1989). Participation can be facilitated by: ...
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... According to Wade (1989), a developmental process starts from where people are and takes them to where they want to be. It is a series of forward looking or visionary processes he calls "anticipatory needs". ...
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Energy, Society and Community
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