Culturally Competent Program Evaluation and Social Research Solutions
J. E. Williams and Associates, LLC
'Walk the Talk' via Evaluation
Types of Program Evaluation
Formative (Planning) Evaluation
Ideally, an evaluation begins even before the project is implemented and is conducted in the planning stages of a project. By working closely with all stakeholders and staff, an evaluation conducted in the planning stages of a project will help identify areas of opportunity, unforeseen issues, alternative delivery methods, and strategies for overcoming problem areas. During the initial planning stage, the purpose of the evaluation will focus on developing a full understanding of a project’s goals, objectives, and strategies. Additionally, data will be collected to develop full background material. This information will assist in the decision making process, will help identify and document critical success factors, and highlight potential areas of concern.
Process (Implementation) Evaluation
The process stage provides ongoing feedback on program activities and often begins with pilot and field tests. Process evaluation may focus on what unusual, unanticipated issues have arisen, monitoring program implementation and coverage, describing and assessing program materials and activities, and reviewing ongoing project activities to determine success levels. During the process evaluation stage, information is collected to determine what impact the activities and strategies being implemented are having on the program participants. These data help to determine if or how well things are working and whether you are conducting the project as planned. Process evaluation answers the question: Are you doing what you said you would do? Are you ‘walking the talk’ of your mission and goals? This information will inform future decisions that program staff and other audiences need to make. Ideally, this type of evaluation creates and maintains a continuous quality improvement loop.
Outcome (Summative) Evaluation -
The outcome or summative evaluation examines the impact of a program or intervention on participants. It is conducted near the end or after a program is over. This type of evaluation determines if the program achieved its goals or intended effects. It answers the questions, did it work and how well? Did the participants benefit? What affect did it have on them? Were the results worth the costs? Should it be continued? Moreover, should it be replicated? Additionally, it could be an evaluation of the effectiveness of changes in a program and how these revisions were received. A complete outcome evaluation will be able to summarize changes in program participants’ knowledge and skills. It can suggest solutions for problem areas, too.
Finally, because professional evaluation provides an external appraisal of the value of a project/program, an outcome evaluation can be used to show funders and potential funders the purpose and success of the program. Because it is based on data, evaluation can provide proof of a working program, demonstrating that money is being wisely invested.
In summary, an evaluation is a collaborative effort that JEWA tailors to the needs and requirements of a given program and its stakeholders. Conducting evaluations serves many purposes, not the least of which is providing valuable information for well-informed decision-making. Ultimately, an integrated evaluation plan will contribute to business development and success.
Products and Services (How we help you 'Walk the Talk!')
Evaluation Proposal Writing - incorporates evaluation activities, timeliness and related evaluation budgets into a grant proposal
Survey Instrument Development & Administration- collects information from program participants and stakeholders in a scientific and culturally responsive way
Focus Group Design & Facilitation- gathers information about a program, clients, and other stakeholders in small group settings
Interview Design & Implementation- collects information in face-to-face, Internet, email, or telephone settings via structured or open-ended formats
Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis- conducts case studies, facilitated discussion groups, field observation and associated category development, coding, and data display generation
Statistical Analysis & Interpretation-uses quantitative analysis to draw conclusions about program effectiveness
Database Development & Management- tracks and monitors client contact information, services provided, client participation, evaluation data, and other program information
Report Production-shares evaluation findings in a usable format
Literature Reviews- to gather findings from previous research and evaluation studies that document how much is known about solving problems addressed by your programs
Community Indicator Research- to collect data that describe critical measures of community health
Needs and Assets Assessment - provides information about the needs, wants, and strengths of people or communities.
Geographic Information System (GIS) Mapping- to create computer-generated maps that graphically represent service delivery locations, target population characteristics, or other geo-spatial information
Technical Assistance - to support program staff with improving their skills in research, planning, or evaluation activities
Database Development & Management- to develop or improve tracking systems for program participants, program activities, and additional program information
Internet based Data Collection- to increase the breadth and depth of sampling designs and stretch research and evaluation dollars
Planning - Effective planning improves program delivery and maximizes program outcomes
Program Planning - to help identify program goals and objectives, methods for reaching them, and the resources needed to start and maintain programs
Strategic Planning- to identify organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, goals, priorities, and an action plan
Logic Model Development- to map out the way a program works, including how program activities are linked to outputs, short-term results, and long-term outcomes
Consensus Panels- to facilitate agreement among key stakeholders on critical issues
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