Community Needs Assessment Approach for Family Welfare: A Review of Experiences in Uttar Pradesh

Author : J.S. Deepak

In April 1995, there was a paradigm shift in the government's approach to the population problem. The Government of India decided to abolish method-specific family planning targets and pilot test it in one or two districts of the major states before implementing it in the country as a whole. In April 1996, the Government of India took the policy decision to implement the Target Free Approach (TFA) throughout the country.

The main aim of TFA is to emphasize clients' needs and provide quality services. But when the approach was implemented countrywide most states lacked an operational methodology to assess community needs, to set performance goals, and to institutionalize quality in service provision especially at district level. TFA at the operational level was even misread as "no targets means no work". To avoid misconception and tune the programme more towards clients' needs the approach was renamed as Community Need Assessment (CNA) in September 1997. The underlying philosophy remained the same. The paper discusses the experience of the state of Uttar Pradesh during the experimental phase as well as its subsequent experience with the community needs assessment approach.

Presented / Published

Paper presented at a workshop on Population Policy for Uttar Pradesh : Identification of Issues, March 2-4, 2000 Lucknow

Key Words: Community Needs Assessment, Family Welfare, Uttar Pradesh