Intro to Program Evaluation for Public Health

Intro to Program Evaluation for Public Health

Introduction to Program Evaluation for Public Health Program: A Self Study Guide

Checklists for the 6 steps:

  1. Engage Stakeholders
  2. Describe the Program
  3. Focus the Evaluation Design
  4. Gather Credible Evidence
  5. Justify Conclusions
  6. Ensure Use of Evaluation Findings and Share Lessons Learned

Checklist for Step 1: Engage Stakeholders

  • Identify stakeholders, using the three broad categories discussed: those affected, those involved in operations, and those who will use the evaluation results.
  • Review the initial list of stakeholders to identify key stakeholders needed to improve credibility, implementation, advocacy, or funding/authorization decisions.
  • Engage individual stakeholders and/or representatives of stakeholder organizations
  • Create a plan for stakeholder involvement and identify areas for stakeholder input
  • Target selected stakeholders for regular participation in key steps, including writing the program description, suggesting evaluation questions, choosing evaluation questions, and disseminating evaluation result.

Checklist for Step 2: Describing the Program

  • Compile a comprehensive program description including need, targets, outcomes, activities, and resources.
  • Identify the stage of development and context of the program.
  • Convert inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes into a simple global logic model
  • Elaborate the model as needed
  • Develop more detailed models from the global model as needed

Checklist for Step 3: Focusing the Evaluation Design

  • Define the purpose(s) and user(s) of your evaluation.
  • Identify the use(s) of the evaluation results.
  • Consider stage of development, program intensity, and logistics and resources.
  • Determine the components of your logic model that should be part of the focus given these utility and feasibility considerations.
  • Formulate the evaluation questions to be asked of the program components in your focus (ie. implementation, effectiveness, efficiency, and attribution questions.
  • Review evaluation questions with stakeholders, program managers, and program staff.
  • Review options for the evaluation design, making sure that the design fits the evaluation questions.

Checklist for Step 4: Gathering Credible Evidence

  • Identify indicators for activities and outcomes in the evaluation focus.
  • Determine whether existing indicators will suffice or whether new ones must be developed
  • Consider the range of data sources and choose the most appropriate one
  • Consider the range of data collection methods and choose those best suited to your context and content.
  • Pilot test new instruments to identify and/or control sources of error.
  • Consider a mixed-method approach to data collection.
  • Consider quality and quantity issues in data collection
  • Develop a detailed protocol for data collection

Checklist for Step 5: Justifying Your Conclusions

  • Check data for errors
  • Consider issues of context when interpreting data
  • Assess results against available literature and results of similar programs.
  • If multiple methods have been employed, compare different methods for consistency in findings.
  • Consider alternative explanations.
  • Use existing standards (e.g. Health People 2010 objectives) as a starting point for comparisons
  • Compare program outcomes with those of previous years.
  • Compare actual with intended outcomes.
  • Document potential biases
  • Examine the limitations of the evaluation.

Checklist for Step 6: Ensuring That Evaluation Findings Are Used and Sharing Lessons Learned

  • Identify strategies to increase the likelihood that evaluation findings will be used.
  • Identify strategies to reduce the likelihood that information will be misinterpreted.
  • Provide continuous feedback for the program.
  • Prepare stakeholders for the eventual use of evaluation findings.
  • Identify training and technical assistance needs.
  • Use evaluation findings to support annual and long-range planning.
  • Use evaluation findings to promote your program.
  • Use evaluation findings to enhance the public image of your program.
  • Schedule follow-up meetings to facilitate the transfer of evaluation conclusions.
  • Disseminate procedures used and lessons learned to stakeholders.
  • Consider interim reports to key audiences.
  • Tailor evaluation reports to audience(s)
  • Revisit the purpose(s) of the evaluation when preparing recommendations
  • Present clear and succinct findings in a timely manner.
  • Avoid jargon when preparing or presenting information to stakeholders
  • Disseminate evaluation findings in several ways.

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