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Gap Analysis

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2018
2 pages
After defining a "gap analysis," this paper provides instructions for planning and conducting a gap analysis related to victim services and resources in a community.
A "gap analysis" identifies solutions for gaps in crime victim services and resources in a community. A gap analysis identifies 1) the current victim services available in the community, 2) the ideal set of victim services the community might offer, 3) the gaps between the current and ideal status of victim services, and 4) what steps are needed to address the gap between the current and ideal states of victim services. A gap analysis may be a singular activity or part of a broader community needs assessment. The planning process for a gap analysis should involve multiple community stakeholders responsible for the current community services targeted for a gap analysis. The planning team composed of these stakeholders should determine the goals of the gap analysis, the data sources to be used, and strategies for interpreting and responding to the findings of the analysis. Four steps are involved in conducting a gap analysis. First, identify the focus areas and envision an ideal response. Second, collect data that are needed for a comprehensive, accurate understanding of the current state of the community's victim services resources. Third, analyze the current state of the community's victim services compared to the ideal state envisioned. Fourth, identify solutions for addressing the gap in victim services. Four additional resources are described.