Program Evaluation

Although evaluation most often occurs at the end of a program, it is extremely important to keep evaluation in mind from the very beginning. Think back to your SMART objectives and work plan; these will help you determine what your evaluation plan should include.

Step 7: Process Evaluation

Was the program implemented with fidelity? Remember, fidelity means that you carried out the program just like you said you would in your planning stages.

  • Record the number of sessions/activities. How many participants attended? Were all the activities completed?
  • Did facilitator(s)address key points of the program? Did facilitator(s) include all relevant messages?
  • Conduct a debriefing session with staff. Be sure to take notes during sessions so that you can remember your ideas about how to improve the program.
  • Conduct focus groups with participants or administer surveys. Find out what they liked and what they didn’t, and ask them how the program could be improved.

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Step 8: Outcome Evaluation

Did your program work? Have your objectives been met? Understand why it did or didn’t, and produce numbers to present to your funders and the community.

  • Impacts of the program. You’ll want to measure changes in your audience’s attitudes, skills, knowledge, intentions and behaviors.
  • When possible, administer a survey measuring these constructs before you begin the program (this is called a pre-test). Then administer the same survey after the program is completed (post-test.
  • You may also use qualitative methods such as focus groups, open-ended questions, and participant observation.
  • Analyze data and report results. Disseminating your findings, even if your program was not successful, is an important part of the research process. Other organizations can learn from your approach if you were not successful. If your program worked, you can serve as a guide for others to implement it.

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