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Essentials of Program Evaluation - Grant Writers' Network of Greater


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Presented by: Grant Writers’ Network of Greater
Sell Your Program!
   Every program believes they are doing something
    special, but it’s not always easy to define or
    quantify the impact they are making.
   Funders and outside parties want you to prove that
    their investment is producing a tangible return.
   Program evaluation helps you bridge the gap
    between what you know about your program’s
    success and what others could easily measure.
Evaluation is important…
Don’t Overlook It!
   Good programs balance mission activities with effective
    data collection.
   Make the data collection part of your intake procedures by
    administering pre-tests and capturing demographic data.
   Try to find as many means of staying in contact with clients
    as possible (email, address, permanent address, phone, cell
    phone, etc.) In case you need to capture data over time.
   Offer incentives to encourage client participation in optional
   Incorporate some assessments into your program so the client
    comes to expect it as part of their participation.
Types of Evaluations
   Surveys
   Pre and Post Tests
   Standardized Tests
   Program-Specific
   Outside evaluation
   Impact Studies
   Can be one of the easiest and least expensive methods
    of program evaluation.
   Can be done online (survey monkey, etc.)
   Can be mailed, distributed at the center, or telephonic.
   Entails collecting the client’s information and/or
    attitudes towards the program.
   Generates Statistics: e.g. 85% of the clients surveyed
    said they felt more confident after undergoing the
    program, 90% of our clients would recommend our
    program to other single mothers, etc.
Pre and Post Test
   Tracks the change in knowledge or attitudes before
    and after the client participates in the program.
   Very easy to implement.
   Can be internal or standardized.
   Internal pre and post-tests are not as credible and
    external tests.
Standardized Tests
   Examples include: ACT Work-Keys, Test of Adult
    Basic Education (TABE), Pre-GED.
   Can be expensive and require staff training.
   Utilizes outside review and or methodology.
   Usually very credible with funders and
Program Specific
   For a job-placement program, success can be defined
    as the number of clients who are working in jobs.
   For a substance abuse program, success can be defined
    in number of persons who go a specific period of time
    without abusing a substance.
   For educational programs success is measured in
    attendance (number of persons educated) as well as
    the educational milestones achieved.
   Outside collaborators might contribute i.e. police
    departments reporting on recidivism, etc.
Outside Evaluations
   An objective third-party utilizes a wide-range of
    evaluation tools (including those that were mentioned
    here) to analyze the program’s effectiveness.
   Sometimes evaluates internal administrative
    effectiveness and the training and abilities of the staff.
   Very credible with funders and collaborators.
   Required by some government grants.
   One of the more expensive evaluation options.
Impact Studies
   Conducted by specialty research firms or
   Looks at the program’s impact over a long-term
    (longitudinal study) and can measure the ripple
    effects that your program may produce.
   Uses a control group vs. client group.
   Among the most credible with funders, highly
    recommended for seekers of national funding.
   Can cost into the millions of dollars.
   The CDC composed a document titled An Evaluation Framework for
    Community Health Programs in June of 2000.
   A Basic Guide to Program Evaluation through the Free Management
    Library. http://www.managementhelp.org/evaluatn/fnl_eval.htm
   American Evaluation Association. http://www.eval.org/
   Amazon. A variety of books are available on Evaluation strategies,
    techniques, etc.

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