Program Evaluation Services: Helping Organizations Maximize Program Effectiveness
CPPSR's Program Evaluation Philosopy
The philosophy underlying CPPSR's Program Evaluation Services was captured well by Anne Petersen, Senior Vice President for Programs, W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
"Program evaluation should be conducted not only to demonstrate that a project worked, but also to improve the way it works. An evaluation approach should be rigorous in its efforts to determine the worth of a program and to guide program implementation and management as well as relevant and useful to program practitioners. Although evaluation is useful to document impact and demonstrate accountability, it should also lead to more effective programs, and a better knowledge of what works."
CPPSR believes that too often program evaluation is only thought of as the final stage of a program that gauges outcomes and establishes accountability. A better perspective sees program evaluation as integral to the evolution of the whole program from planning, to implementation, to final assessment. In this light, program evaluation helps managers improve the way services are designed and delivered. It provides program managers with the data they need when they need it so that programs are more apt to meet their overall objectives.
The Need for Program Evaluation
Program evaluation can provide information to better define program objectives and procedures, and can tell you:
- If activities or services are happening as intended
- How to improve the program as it evolves
- If there is a need to expand the program, consolidate program components, or replicate cost-effective components
- If there is a need to reallocate funding within the program, add to program funding, or reduce program funding
- If there is a need to streamline, refine, or redesign the program
- The degree to which various factors contribute or hinder program success
- Whether your program did what it was supposed to do
Why Choose CPPSR?
CPPSR works collaboratively with clients to identify the scope of their evaluation needs. According to best practices, a general rule of thumb is to allocate 10% to 20% of a program budget to evaluation. Within that budget, CPPSR can tailor services to meet your needs in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Once target audience members and key stakeholders are identified and research methods to be used are determined, evaluation responsibilities and a timetable are then determined.
Research methods can yield qualitative data or quantitative data. Data collection methods may include focus groups or interviews with small numbers of people and/or surveys with larger samples of people that can be administered in several different ways. Timetables can be short or long-term. The sophistication of these factors will determine the size and cost.
CPPSR Conducts Three Types of Evaluation Research
This may include audience needs assessments, analysis of audience motivations and behaviors, organizational assessments, or analyses of the physical or political environment impacting a program. These evaluations help define program objectives, plan program processes, and provide baseline information for final evaluation purposes.
This type of evaluation assesses the component parts of a program as it is being implemented. It identifies the strengths and weaknesses of these processes and any mid-term changes that may need to be made.
This type of evaluation establishes the ultimate impacts of the program. It uses program objectives and baseline information to measure against, takes into account the efficacy of program processes, and tries to determine the facilitationg factors and barriers that led to program outcomes.
Please Contact Steve Kliger, Executive Director for more information.