EVALUATIONS Evaluation Research is the systematic (scientific) application of social research methods to assess the conceptualization, design, implementation, and outcomes of a program (or component of a program) or a project. BASICALLY THERE ARE TWO GENERAL TYPES OF EVALUATIONS Evaluation are either formative/PROCESSS or summative/OUTCOMES
Summative evaluation: whether or not what you expected to happen, did actually happen. Also called Outcome Evaluation. Were the objectives of the program achieved? Is the program EFFECTIVE in achieving its purpose and objectives? Summative – FOCUSES ON EFFECTIVENESS. makes decisions about the overall and or specific effectiveness of program. Focus on outcomes and goals. Useful in determining whether or not to continue program. Questions are often like: Is it effective? Has it accomplished its purpose(s) or objectives, did it solve the problems and to what degree. Did the clients get better? ? Is it worth it? Did it bring about desired outcomes? Did the clients benefit? Simply put, summative or outcome evaluations answer some version of the question “Did the program work?”
Summative evaluations can be started at the beginning of a program, but usually they are undertaken after enough data has been collected to determine whether the program is successful. This means that they are most often undertaken as the clients near completion or after some clients have completed the program
Formative evaluation: concerned primarily with implementation; looking at structure and process. “Why did things happen the way they did?” “How are things happening? This approach is useful in looking for ways to improve the program. Sometimes called Process Evaluation. . Formative – focus ON EFFICIENCY on ways to improve and enhance programs. What are the strengths of the program? What are the weaknesses? How can it be improved? What’s working well? What isn’t working well? What are the reactions of clients, staff and others to the program? Often called process evaluation. It does not focus on outcomes, but more often on the inner workings of the program. “are things moving the way they should?”, “are clients showing up?” , “are clients graduating?” (notice this does not ask if they are successful at graduation.) “Are staff delivering the services the way they should?”, “how is the morale of staff?”, “do the staff have the resources they need in order to deliver the program as intended?” All formative evaluations ask some variation of the questions , HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK?” OR “How is the program working?” OR “HOW ARE THE PROCESSES WORKING?” OR “WHY IS THE PROGRAM WORKING THE WAY IT IS? NOT IS IT SUCCESSFUL!
FORMATIVE EVALUATIONS ARE OFTEN USED TO EXPLAIN WHY A PROGRAM IS WORKING OR NOT WORKING!! • I HAVE OFTEN COMBINED FORMATIVE COMPONENTS IN SUMMATIVE EVALUATIONS IN ORDER TO EXPLAIN TO THE STAKEHOLDERS WHY THINGS TURNED OUT THE WAY THEY DID!
General timeline for evaluation PROG. STARTUP-------------------------------PROG.COMP. Needs assessment --------Program monitoring------- Formative eval.-- <---------------process eval----------------- --Outcome eval.---
What type of evaluation?Decision tree stakeholders Research question(s) Does it work? Is it effective? How does it work? What is going on? Summative outcome Formative process
QUESTION TWO: WHO ARE THE STAKEHOLDERS? Stakeholders are all of those who have an investment in the program. This can be staff, supervisors. Clients. Relatives of clients, client advocacy groups, funding sources, agency heads, politicians etc. Anyone who has a vested interest in the evaluation. Stakeholders are decision-makers and information users who have questions about a program. They are always PEOPLE; never groups; and they must be treated as people. One may think of stakeholder in the following way: 1. initiating or lead stakeholder(s) 2. primary stakeholders 3. secondary stakeholders
initiating – lead stakeholders are usually the people who request or authorize the evaluation. Usually they are the most powerful; agency head, agency representative, program director ,funding source etc. think of them as the person who gives the approval for the evaluation and ultimately determines the research question. 2. primary stakeholders are usually program director, staff and clients. Although they may or may not determine or have input into the research questions, you must have their credibility and cooperation. If not, the evaluation will fail!!! 3. secondary stakeholders. These are often client groups, relatives etc. people who have an interest, but are not directly linked. You should immediately make contact with the initiating/lead stakeholders. Use your field instructor as a connection!!!!!