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TAXOMONY OF NEEDS
Bradshaw developed The Taxomony of Needs to help services understand the
different ways in which needs are perceived, expressed and measured. It allows
the different types of need to be taken into account when planning services.
However, Bradshaw reminds us that The Taxomony won’t provide a perfect fit,
because needs are not only personal, they are also subjective to environment and
they change over time.
These needs are defined by the expert. They are measurable against standards. If
you don’t fit the standard then you are not in need.
These needs are defined by what the individual wants, but they are often
unexpressed. They are defined by social circumstance and personal perception.
When a group or individual asks for their ‘felt need’ to be met, it then becomes an
When an identified need is used as a measure to define need across a wider
population or community. It highlights those with similar needs who are not yet
Need, demand and supply:
influences and overlaps
You can read more about Taxonomy of Needs in ‘Jonathan Bradshaw on Social Policy: Selected Writings 1972-2011’. Edited by Richard Cookson, Roy Sainsbury and Caroline Glendinning. Click the image above to read this.