Training Kit on Participatory Spatial Information Management and Communication. CTA/IFAD

Module M03 - Fundamentals of Training Delivery and Facilitation

Unit M03U02 - Training Needs Assessment


Through the description of a training needs assessment (TNA), this Unit gives guidance for planning a productive training event. Training on participatory geographic information systems (PGIS) is diverse and complex. The design of a training programme depends on the context in which the training is offered. TNA is used to identify difficulties in accomplishing the targeted jobs and to determine which difficulties are due to lack of training and which may be due to other factors (i.e. non-training needs). Thus TNA clarifies whether training is the solution to a problem. Trainers may decide how the factors described in this Unit are relevant for their TNA in a particular situation. Many possibilities exist for identifying training needs and selecting an appropriate one depends on many factors.

Unit objectives / expected outcomes

After the completion of the Unit the trainee will be able to:

  • discuss the relevance of TNA;
  • adjust the approach of TNA to the training situation and select appropriate TNA methods;
  • design and conduct semi-structured interviews.

Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing

This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:

  1. Introduction to TNA (PPT No. 1, Slides 1 – 4) (10 min)
  2. Why assess training needs?: brainstorming with flipchart on: "Why do we need to assess training needs?" (Exercise No.1 in M03U01) (20 min), followed by (PPT No. 1, Slides 5 – 11) (10 min)
  3. Approach of TNA: brainstorming with flipchart on: "What approaches of TNA can we apply?" (Exercise No.1 in M03U01; This is the same exercise as before, using a different question) (20 min), followed by (PPT No. 1, Slides 12 – 21) (20 min)
  4. Semi-structured interviewing: brainstorming with flipchart on: "How would you conduct a semi-structured interview?" (Exercise No.1 in M03U01; This is the same exercise as before, using a different question) (20 min) followed by (PPT No. 1, Slides 22 – 24 and Handout for Trainee, Section 3) (20 min)

Keywords / key concepts

TNA approach, job analysis, art and content of interviewing, semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, performance observations and reviews, skills and knowledge tests

Components of the Unit


Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in printed format):



2 hrs

Additional trainer resources

  • Biech, E. 2005. Training for dummies. Wiley Publishing, Inc., Corporate Headquarters, 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774, USA. ISBN: 978-0-7645-5985-3. 408 pages.
  • Mayo, G.D. and DuBois, P.H. 1987. The complete book of training: theory, principles, and techniques. University Associates. San Diego, California, USA. ISBN: 0-88390-208-7. 217+ pages.
  • Pretty, J.N., Guijt, I., Scoones, I. and Thompson, J. 1995. A trainer's guide for participatory learning and action. International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK. 267+ pages.
  • Taylor, P. and Beniest, J. 2003. Training in agroforestry; a toolkit for trainers. World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya;
    About 300 pages + CD-ROM.

Equipment needed

Computer, digital projector, flipcharts and marker pens

Additional downloads

Source: CTA. 2010. Training Kit on Participatory Spatial Information Management and Communication. CTA, The Netherlands and IFAD, Italy (ISBN: 978-92-9081-446-7)