In the pre-planning stages of any social intervention project, a basic needs assessment of the target group or population should be conducted first to determine priority areas for intervention and draw up benchmark data and indicators for reference during planning, implementation, monitoring and post-implementation phases. Furthermore, according to Acosta et. al, “Conducting needs assessment research is a rational way to examine the effectiveness of social programs” (Acosta, 343). A needs assessment basically consists of several benchmark data gathering activities that would require collection of primary and secondary data and other forms of data gathering, like focused group discussions.  Some even require several or multi-level studies to come up with the benchmark results, like that of an assessment process conducted in the State of Pennsylvania. To quote: “The process was designed to use a seven-step procedure incorporating qualitative and quantitative data collection strategies” (Daly, 95).  Hence, depending on the needs and scope of an intended intervention, strategies for benchmark data gathering in establishing needs assessment output should be pre-designed. A needs assessment usually focus on a group of people or population in a given environment.  For example, the needs assessment from Pennsylvania stated focused on “Individuals with developmental disabilities who present challenging behaviors create significant issues for families and service delivery systems that provide support” (Daly, 95). How does one go about specifying the extent of a problem? The results of a needs assessment study identifies several opportunities for addressing the problem and gives an insight on how best to attack or implement the program to address the conflict or problem in a given population group in a specified environment.  There are strategies and methodologies by which the problems or needs for social intervention can be identified and addressed.  One such approach is the SWOT Analysis or the identification of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats present in the environment and in profiling all the stakeholders affected in the proposed or planned social intervention program. Elaborate on the difficulties associated with defining and identifying the targets of interventions. How might we describe the target populations of social interventions? Not one social intervention program can boast of a 100% foolproof plan that will ensure a definitive path for success or capture and identify for sure the appropriate beneficiaries of a social intervention project.  In every intended project, it has been a lesson in the past that planning should be bottom up and not the other way around.  Instead of a project identified and a benchmark study scheduled just to fit into the “prerequisite” for approval of the intervention program, the process should be reversed. One frequent mistake adapted by governments or non-profit organizations, in identifying target populations for a social intervention program. is having a “ready made program” and trying to find a beneficiary for the identified program.  The environment and community setting plus other nuances other than a pre-targeted population should be considered first, and then the intervention program, later to be identified in an appropriately processed needs assessment.  Otherwise, if the social intervention program has already been prescribed even before consulting what the target population needs and what the community or environmental setting dictates, then the intervention program has already failed even before it has begun. Works Cited: Acosta, O., and Toro, P. (2000). Let's Ask the Homeless People Themselves: A Needs Assessment Based on a Probability Sample of Adults. American Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 28, 343. Daly, D., Kvarfordt, C., Malatchi, A., Shannon, P., Yoder, T. (2001).  Capacity for Statewide Implementation of Positive Behavior Supports: A Needs Assessment Strategy. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, Vol. 3, 95.