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ST5: Need and Readiness

Framework Component

Readiness & Capacity - Organizational Motivators

Indicator Description

Two-part indicator measuring sites or organizations where there is identified need for PSE changes and associated organizational and staff readiness for adopting PSE changes has been assessed.

Background and Context

Indicator ST5 is an appropriate place to start for SNAP-Ed implementers working on PSE changes. It uses a process to develop partnerships (see: ST7) and engage organizations in addressing environmental needs around eating, learning, living, playing, shopping, or working categories. This step-wise process develops staff, determines environmental needs, and assesses partner's readiness to engage in PSE changes. This indicator is meant to guide the development of work plans and/or expand existing programs that address the other indicators presented in this guide.

SNAP-Ed local project staff trained on ways to determine environmental need, engage organizations, and conduct readiness assessment are needed for PSE implementation. SNAP-Ed providers can assess needs in organizations or sites that serve low-income people. Although the needs assessment itself is not a program outcome, it is a first step toward implementation and thus a key program output for SNAP-Ed.

Readiness tools measure an organization's or site's readiness to create changes that will address unmet needs for improved access or appeal of nutrition and physical activity supports.

SNAP-Ed local project staff can work with partners identified in ST7 and the organization's staff to use the results from prior needs assessments and fill in any observable gaps. Because of the breadth of SNAP-Ed settings, the categorization of strategies is useful to track organizations, and each organization or site should be assigned an eat, learn, live, play, shop, and work category. This information could be used to identify other organizations working in the same domain in a larger area. The flow chart below can help you navigate ST5.

SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework Flowchart

Outcome Measures

What to Measure

ST5a. Number and types of PSE trainings SNAP-Ed staff and SNAP-Ed partner organizations have completed.

ST5b. Organizations or sites that have conducted a needs assessment or environmental scan focused on SNAP-Ed priority areas, the results of which have documented needs for changes in policies, systems, and environmental supports. Factors to consider in selecting a needs assessment tool or environmental scan process include institutional resources and capacity, trained staff or community residents, prior needs assessments, and plans for how the results will be used or shared. A consistent process for needs assessments or environmental scans is one that is documented and can be replicated across jurisdictions and over time.

ST5c. Organizations or sites that have been assessed for organizational readiness for change. Organizational readiness is often identified as an important precursor for change in policy, practice, and programs. Readiness assessments look at different areas such as commitment to make the change (resolve) and the capacity of the collective to make the change. The readiness assessment will allow for planning to meet the readiness to implement PSE. For example, an organization may be ready to change the school policies around food and beverages but lack the training and resources (capacity) to begin working on the policy. This information would provide SNAP-Ed programs and organizations direction on what resources and trainings would be required to achieve a change in school policies.

While there is no specific numerator or denominator in this indicator, some states may seek to evaluate readiness in all potential/eligible SNAP-Ed sites for the federal fiscal year. Other states may evaluate actual SNAP-Ed sites for the federal fiscal year (all sites and systems with SNAP-Ed services). A third option is to use a sampling methodology: choose a percentage of organizations or sites to assess readiness for change. Sampling is important because it would be cost-prohibitive to conduct assessments across the state or jurisdiction. (see Appendix C for details on sampling).



Surveys and Data Collection Tools

SNAP-Ed Staff Readiness to Implement Tools

(Note: Some needs assessment tools and resources listed below have their own staff trainings. If not, the North Carolina Institute for Public Health hosts an online staff training with a staff survey that can be administered at completion.)

Readiness Assessment

Environmental Needs Assessment Tools

*Tools with an asterisk appear in SNAP-Ed Evidence Based Interventions.

Additional Resources or Supporting Citations

Shea CM, Jacobs SR, Esserman DA, Bruce K, Weiner, B. Organizational readiness for implementing change: a psychometric assessment of a new measure. Implement Sci. 2014; 9:7. Published online 2014 January 10. doi: 10.1186/1748-5908-9-7. Available from