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Evaluating Success

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“When it’s your life’s work – which is the case in many of these projects – you can feel very ‘exposed’ when putting it out there for people to pick apart. We have to remember that we got into this work to help people have better lives. Evaluation allows us to learn things we might not be able to see for ourselves and make our programs better.”- Brad Thompson, creator of the Parent Partner Program

 

Program Evaluation is a systemic collection of information about the activities, characteristics, and outcomes of programs to make judgments about the program, improve program effectiveness, and/or inform decisions about future program development.5 Programs designed to benefit a specific populations first must identify the needs of that population and develop evaluation metrics that measure the desired outcomes for the population.6 Evaluation metrics are used to show the impact of the program, whether the program has met it’s goals, and whether the program has been effective at implementing the activities within the timeline, budget, and program plan.

Evaluation is a valuable tool for community-based organizations looking to strengthen existing programs and better serve their target populations. Evaluation data can be used to identify program strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.7 For example, a treatment program may be very effective for program participants, but evaluation can be used to identify reasons for low participation or interest in the program.5 In addition, thorough evaluation data is an important tool when seeking additional funding to expand a program.

 

Strategies

Measuring Success from Multiple Perspectives

  • Parent Partner Program

Evaluating on a Budget

  • The Access to Credible Genetics (ATCG) Resources Network

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