GBIF Best Practice Guide for Content Needs Assessment of Stakeholder Communities


User content needs assessments may be carried out at different scales, from local to global, and by a range of actors including governmental and non-governmental organizations, research project designers, funding institutions, national biodiversity information facilities and ministries responsible for biodiversity and environment. This guide is therefore intended for any individuals or institutions engaged in mobilizing data on biodiversity and making them freely accessible, serving the needs of a given set of stakeholders.


This best practice guide provides step-by-step approaches for conducting a user needs assessment. It describes an optimal workflow consisting of seven steps, viz. (1) setting up of purpose, scope and objectives of the study, (2) identifying the target audiences, (3) selecting a set of optimal and easy to implement methods, (4) identifying information needed and investigation methodology, (5) collection and analysis of the information, (6) synthesis of collected information and publishing results, and (7) develop and implement an action plan with an appropriate monitoring and evaluation mechanism.
These steps are discussed with the help of eight representative biodiversity CNAs. While two of them have global coverage, six are national/regional in nature. These studies were examined for general trends. On the basis of this understanding, we provide a set of do’s and don’ts for each of the seven steps of CNA workflow.
One aim of this guide is to help design optimal content assessment exercises ranging from global to national scale, with parsimonious investment of resources and time. As a result of these content assessment exercises, the biodiversity informatics community will be in a position to have a better understanding of its stakeholder communities. This will result in target-oriented and demand-driven data publishing policies and action plans.


Ariño AH, Chavan V, Macklin JA, Ghosh-Harihar M, Mathur V, Gaiji S, Flemons P


GBIF Secretariat

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GBIF Secretariat