Title: Using freelisting to identify community's felt needs and problems through measuring cultural salience

Authors: Bontha V. Babu; Yadlapalli S. Kusuma

Addresses: Division of Socio-Behavioural and Health Systems Research, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, 110 029, India ' Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, 110 029, India

Abstract: Identifying community's felt needs is a part of needs assessment exercise. This paper demonstrates the use of freelisting technique to systematically identify the felt needs in terms of general problems and health problems of an urban community from India. Community members generated lists of items in response to two questions on general problems and health problems of their locality during short and 'swift' semi-structured interviews. This free-listing information is computerised and analysed through Anthropac software. Salience was derived using Smith's salience index. The analysis indicated that unemployment is the main problem in this urban community with the highest salience index. Among health problems, common cold is the most common health problem with the Smith's salient index of 0.343. The study thus concluded that freelisting is a simple technique eliciting emic views of cultural domains and can be used rapidly in needs assessment activities.

Keywords: felt need; needs assessment; freelist; cultural salience; domain; research methodology; social research; society systems; interview technique; India.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSS.2017.088292

International Journal of Society Systems Science, 2017 Vol.9 No.4, pp.292 - 300

Received: 18 Aug 2016
Accepted: 20 Apr 2017

Published online: 01 Dec 2017 *

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