Current Status: Issued
Original Issue Date: 06/25/2007
Reviewed: 07/14/2008, 07/2009
Next Review Date: 07/14/2010
Document Number: TRPE02-VO1
Program Evaluation and Program Improvement
Evaluation has several purposes, including: ongoing program improvement, measuring program effectiveness, program sustainability, marketing, and identifying areas for professional development.
- Evaluation Planning
- Evaluation is part of Teen REACH program planning and management. Evaluation is not a separate function.
- Evaluation should be planned and purposeful.
- Evaluation planning is part of initial program planning and can help ensure that needs, outcomes and activities are related in a way that ensures program outcomes are met.
- Key program leadership need to clearly support program evaluation
- Realistic expectations should be established for what an evaluation will produce based on the type/level of evaluation, resources available for evaluation, and the developmental stage of the program.
- Evaluation Implementation - How to Conduct an Evaluation
- Evaluation should include the systematic collection of data.
- Programs should have a clear theory of change. This can be illustrated in a logic model or as realistic goals and the intermediate steps to reach them.
- Evaluation is not a one-time event. Evaluation is an ongoing process that should be used to continuously enhance the quality of programs.
- Evaluation Utilization
- Evaluation findings need to be communicated to stakeholders in a timely manner and in an appropriate format to be useful in decision-making.
- In order for evaluation to be successful it must be used for continuous program improvement. Teen REACH programs will make changes based on data that is collected.
- Unexpected results, especially negative findings, are not to be feared by program staff and should be considered by staff and funders as part of the continuous improvement process.
Capacity to do Evaluation
- All stakeholders have a role in evaluation, including participants and all levels of program staff.
- Program personnel need to have basic program evaluation skills. Technical assistance and/or resources should be available to programs to ensure staff members have these skills.
- Teen REACH coordinators will determine the resources needed for evaluation.
- Teen REACH will celebrate and share any positive results in evaluation with stakeholders.
- Stakeholders will be involved in deciding what changes need to be made as a result of the evaluation.