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UnderstandingProgram EvaluationModule 1 Essential Skills Series: An Introduction to Evaluation Concepts and Practice Canadian Evaluation Society Date:_________________ Location:______________
Workshop Agenda Registration 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Introduction to Program Evaluation 9:00 - 10:15 a.m. Break 10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Program Planning & Evaluation 10:30 - 12:00 p.m. Lunch 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Types of Evaluations 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. Break 2:15 - 2:30 p.m. Major Evaluation Roles and Approaches 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. Evaluation Standards & Ethical Guidelines 3:45 - 4:00 p.m. Discussion of Upcoming Modules 4:00 - 4:20 p.m. Workshop Evaluation 4:20 - 4:30 p.m.
Workshop Objectives • Introduction to terms and concepts used by evaluators • Overview of historical and current trends • Identify major benefits and uses of evaluation • Examining the relationship between planning, management and evaluation • Review major models of evaluation • Review evaluation standards, ethics and ‘fairness’ • Summarize the Canadian evaluation ‘basics’
What is Evaluation? • What do you think of when you hear the term evaluation?
Section 1. Introduction to Program Evaluation
Working Definition of Program Evaluation Program evaluation is the systematic collection and analysis of information about program activities, characteristics, and outcomes to make judgements about the program, improve program effectiveness and/or inform decisions about future programming. Source: Patton, M.Q. (1997). Utilization-focused Evaluation. Sage Publications.
Working Definition of Evaluation Research Evaluation research is the: • systematic application of social science research procedures in assessing social intervention programs. Program evaluation is viewed as a form of applied social research. Source: Rossi, P., Lipsey, M., & Freeman, H. (2004). Evaluation: A Systematic Approach (7th edition), Sage Publications
Canadian Context Treasury Board Secretariat Definition: The application of systematic methods to periodically and objectively assess effectiveness of programs in achieving expected results, their impacts, both intended and unintended, continued relevance and alternative or more cost-effective ways of achieving expected results. Source: Results-Based Management Lexicon, http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/rma/lex-lex_e.asp accessed November 2008
Historical Context – Evaluation in Canada 1960’s - Emergence of Evaluation – an amalgam of social sciences 1970’s - Evaluation becomes more routinized • 1977 Treasury Board Secretariat Policy • 3-5 year cycle 1980’s - Distinct, mandated function – some common standards • 1981 Office of the Comptroller General Guide • Standardized issues • Evaluation units in most federal agencies (and many provincial agencies) 1990’s - Evaluation seen as serving organizational operations, strategic and tactical – evaluation a part of ‘review’ • 1994 Evaluation Policy 2000’s - Evaluation as a tool for accountability and management Sources: Müller-Clemm and Barnes (1997) A Historical Perspective on Federal Program Evaluation in Canada, Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 12 (1), 47-70 Segsworth (2005) Program Evaluation in Canada: Plus Ça Change… Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 20 (3), 195-197
The ‘Original’ Canadian Evaluation Issues • Program Rationale (does the program make sense) a) To what extent are the objectives and mandate of the program still relevant? • Are the activities and outputs of the program consistent with its mandate and plausibly linked to the attainment of the objectives and the intended impacts and effects? • Impacts and Effects (what has happened as a result of the program) a) What impacts and effects, both intended and unintended, resulted from carrying out the program? • In what manner and to what extent does the program complement, duplicate, overlap or work at cross purposes with other programs? • Objectives Achievement (has the program achieved what was expected) • In what manner and to what extent were appropriate program objectives achieved as a result of the program? • Alternatives (are there better ways of achieving the results) a) Are there more cost-effective alternative programs which might achieve the objectives and intended impacts and effects? b) Are there more cost-effective ways of delivering the existing program? (OCG, 1981a, p. 7) Source: Guide on the Program Evaluation Function, Office of the of the Comptroller General 1981 http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/eval/pubs/pubs-to-1995/orig-gd_e.asp . Accessed November 2008.
Evaluation vs. Performance Measurement Contrasting Paradigms • Evaluation • Behavioural Sciences • Logic Model • Academic / interntl development / social development • Periodic • Strategic • Heretical • Performance Measurement • Accounting, Process Engineering, Marketing • Ledger / Scorecard • Business • Ongoing • Operational • Conformist Source: Montague, S. (2005) Performance Planning, Measurement and Reporting For Continuous Improvement, CES-AEA Workshop
Benefits of Program Evaluation Evaluation provides information about: • Relevance to need • Program operations • Program strengths and weaknesses • Attainment of goals and performance • Program issues • Attributable impact • Efficiency and cost-effectiveness Source: Love, A. (2007)
Uses of Program Evaluation • Symbolic use (evaluation as part of a ‘token’ effort) • Instrumental use (evaluation for direct design and delivery improvement) • Conceptual use (evaluation to change the way people think or see a program) Source: Weiss, C., Murphy-Graham, E. and Birkeland, S.(2005) An Alternate Route to Policy Influence, American Journal of Evaluation, Vol 26, No 1
Two ‘Fundamental’ Uses • Development (learning) • Accountability Source: Chelimsky, E., & Shadish, W.R. (eds.) (1997). Evaluation for the 21st Century: A Handbook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Some Potential Misuses of Program Evaluation Evaluation information can be misused to: • Postpone action • Whitewash a program • Eliminate a program • Justify a weak program
The Results of Effective Evaluation • Assessing the relevance of the program to support continued operation • Providing objective assessment of the extent to which program results are being achieved • Supporting submissions and Initiative Proposals (e.g. Memoranda to Cabinet) • Identifying areas of program improvement and / or alternative delivery means • Providing overall assessment of the cost-effectiveness of the program Source: Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada Case Studies in Effective Evaluation. http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/eval/tools_outils/impact/impact_e.asp#5.0 Accessed November 2008.
Conditions Where Evaluation is Considered Useful • High quality / credibility / integrity • Provides clear support for decision making and action • Responsive to user information needs • Adequate organizational infrastructure and resources are available to support the function • Owned and embraced by users Source: Cousins, Goh, Aubry, Lahey, Montague and Elliott (2006) What Makes Evaluation Useful in Government? A Concept Mapping Study American Evaluation Association Presentation, November 2006
Truth Test Is it trustworthy? Can I rely on it? Will it hold up under scrutiny or attack? Utility Test Does it provide direction? Does it yield guidance? Does it have an action orientation? Does it challenge the status quo? Program Evaluation:Truth Test and Utility Test Source: Love, A. (2007)
Section 2. Program Planning and Evaluation
What is a Program? • A program is: • an organized set of activities whose objective is the production of changes in the recipients and / or their environment. • What about policies, initiatives, projects etc.?
Program 1. Meals on Wheels for Senior Citizens 2. Emergency Shelter Beds in Winter 3. Job Retraining Desired Change Increased social interaction Nutritious & varied diet Relief from exposure to cold nights Homeless person uses shelter Increase in employment levels, salary levels, job satisfaction
Unintended Outcomes Often not certain what changes are expected Programs can produce unanticipated changes Specify 1 desired and 1 unintended change for a program that promotes responsible gambling Specify Desired Change __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ Specify the Unintended Change __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ Group Exercise #1
Program Logic Elements • Inputs: The financial and non-financial resources used to produce outputs and accomplish outcomes. • Activities: An operation or work process internal to an organisation, intended to produce specific outputs (e.g. products or services). Activities are the primary link in the chain through which outcomes are achieved. • Outputs:Direct products or services stemming from the activities of a policy, program, or initiative, and delivered to a target group or population. Usually things you can count. • Outcomes:An external consequence attributed to an organisation, policy, program or initiative that is considered significant in relation to its commitments. Outcomes may be described as: immediate, intermediate or final (end), direct or indirect, intended or unintended. A good outcome statement represents the type of change wanted, includes reference to the target population or intended beneficiary and does not include reference to the how. Source: TBS Results-based Management Lexicon http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/rma/lex-lex_e.asp accessed Dec 15, 2008
A ‘Program’ as Seen From an Evaluation Perspective Environment Needs Social value of inputs Program Objectives Inputs Activities Outputs Outcomes Source: McDavid, J. & Hawthorn, L.(2006)Program Evaluation and Performance MeasurementSage Publications Adapted from Nagarajan, N. & Vanheukelen, M. (1997) Evaluating EU expenditure programmes: A guide (p 25)
Section 3. Types of Evaluations
Two ‘Fundamental’ Types • Formative – improvement and development oriented • Summative – accountability oriented (Scriven 1967)
Formative vs. Summative Evaluation Formative evaluation is used for the improvement and development of an ongoing program. Based on the outcome(s) of the formative evaluation, the program can be modified to improve on problems or difficulties. Summative evaluation usually serves an accountability function. At the end of the program, a summative evaluation is completed to describe the overall successes of the program and to determine whether the program should be continued.
Types of Evaluations • Needs Assessment • Utilization • Program Planning • Focus • Program Need • Gap between Actual and Desired State
Types of Evaluations • Evaluability Assessment • Utilization • Program Design • Focus • Program Rationale • Program Interventions and Strategies
Process Evaluation Utilization Program Operations and Implementation Focus Program Monitoring Efficiency Types of Evaluations
Outcome Evaluation Utilization Program Results and Impacts Focus Program Results Effectiveness Types of Evaluations
Evaluation and the Management Life-cycle Initial Situation Design an intervention Reconsider, redesign, expand, reduce or end Identify a need Program/Policy start-up IMMEDIATE OUTCOMES INTERMEDIATE OUTCOMES FINAL OUTCOMES Ongoing Performance/Outcome Monitoring/Measurement Source:Adapted from Birch-Jones, J., Integrating PM and Evaluation: Bridging the Chasm, CES-NCR, 2002.
Key Evaluation Questions: Needs Assessment • Who needs the program? • What kinds of services do they need? • Are the needed services available? • Are the needed services accessible? • Are the people in need aware that the services exist? • Are there enough program resources to address the need?
Key Evaluation Questions: Evaluability Assessment • What are the program components? • What are the goals of the program? • What are the indicators or criteria of goal achievement? • Are the program’s goals and objectives compatible with the organizations vision and mission?
Key Evaluation Questions: Process Evaluation • To what extent is the program being implemented as designed? • Who uses the program? What activities are participants involved in? • How are time, money and personnel allocated? • Are program participants satisfied with the program? • Are they receiving quality services? • How does the program vary from one site to another?
Key Evaluation Questions: Outcome Evaluation • To what extent is the program meeting its goals? • How does the program compare against accepted standards? • Is the program effective? • How does the program compare with competitive programs? • Should the program be continued? • Should the program be expanded?
Who Should Conduct the Evaluation? • Internal evaluation uses a staff member to evaluate an organization’s programs • External evaluation uses someone who is not directly supervised by an organization to evaluate its programs
Internal Issues matched to managers needs Costs lower Results readily accepted by staff Data better understood by staff External Outside expertise and experience Credibility to funders and stakeholders Staff not diverted from normal tasks Brings fresh perspective Comparative Advantages of Internal and External Evaluation
Internal Evaluation skills may not be available Staff busy and evaluations not completed on time Staff rarely independent Difficult to separate program from personnel evaluation External Need time to become familiar with program Illusion of independence Financial costs can be high Consultants require careful management Comparative Disadvantages of Internal and External Evaluation
Understanding Program EvaluationSmall Group Exercise #2 Rockwood Community Services Founded in the 1970s, Rockwood Community Services is a multiservice agency that helps over 10,000 diverse individuals of all ages annually achieve greater independence and support recovery from illness by providing community-based health and mental health services. After reviewing the annual program statistics, Rockwood’s Board Planning Committee has identified a disturbing new trend – each month more and more clients are seeking help for serious gambling problems. It seems as if Rockwood has been caught in a perfect storm caused by recent changes to gambling legislation, increased access to gambling venues, and the recent surge in online gambling. Gambling is now being strongly promoted not only as an enjoyable form of entertainment, but as part of the modern lifestyle and perhaps even as a civic duty, because of huge revenues generated by government-sponsored gambling. These revenues fund a wide variety of important social and educational programs that would not exist otherwise. In the space of a few years, it is said that gambling has become the fastest growing industry in Canada and the United States. The Board wants to know whether Rockwood has an effective response to deal with the apparent problem gambling epidemic. The Board is placing Rockwood’s Executive Director under tremendous pressure to evaluate the effectiveness of the agency’s programs to prevent and treat problem gambling. Because Rockwood prides itself in delivering high quality, evidence-based services, the Board wants a rigorous summative evaluation of these programs. Rockwood’s clinical directors and staff have not responded well to these demands. They point out that their programs for problem gambling are in the developmental stages and that it is too early to evaluate their effectiveness. Because the surge of clients with gambling problems has caught Rockwood and other service providers by surprise, they are not sure about the nature and extent of the problem and the characteristics of the clients affected. They are in the process of assessing their needs and designing programs to prevent and treat problem gambling. They argue that now is not the time for an evaluation, and that summative evaluation of their current programs would be a waste of time and money.
Small Group Exercise #2 Worksheet Rockwood Community Services 1. What are the reasons for conducting an evaluation of this program now? 2. What are the reasons against conducting an evaluation of this program now? 3. In your opinion, where are Rockwood’s programs for problem gambling on the program / management development life cycle? 4. What type of evaluation would be appropriate for programs at this stage of program development cycle?
Section 4. Major Evaluation Roles and Approaches
Role of the Evaluator • Researcher • Management consultant • Facilitator
Evaluation Approaches • Degree of evaluator: • Independence • Control over the design • Lead of the process • Some important types: • Goal based • Participatory • Empowerment • Developmental
Traditional vs. Developmental Evaluation Source: Patton, Michael Q. “Evaluation for the Way We Work.” The Nonprofit Quarterly, Spring 2006, pp. 28-33
Evaluator Role for Each Evaluation Model Adapted from: Love (1998) Goal-Based Model Evaluator directs the evaluation process. Participatory Model Evaluator guides evaluation process. Evaluator is facilitator and resource. Empowerment Model Team has total authority and resources to evaluate and improve performance. Evaluator is empowerment facilitator. Developmental Model Evaluator supports teamwork. Ownership is shared by all. Evaluator is advisor to program team.
Small Group Exercise #3 Understanding Program Evaluation Selecting an Evaluation Approach The Board Planning Committee of Rockwood Community Services has decided to strike a Problem-Gambling Task Force to examine the extent of the gambling problem and develop a range of feasible options in response. The Problem-Gambling Task Force invited Rockwood’s senior managers and clinical leads to discuss the problem gambling situation. It was obvious from this meeting that Rockwood lacked fundamental knowledge about problem gambling and that both senior managers and clinical staff would benefit greatly by receiving training from experts in the field. Rockwood’s Problem-Gambling Task Force contracted with an organization with experienced trainers who were also therapists that specialized in problem gambling. The trainers provide evidence-based training and support materials designed to develop core competencies related to gambling and problem gambling. This organization developed a six-session training program delivered one half-day per week for six weeks. The sessions were scheduled to cause minimal disruption to service delivery and to develop competencies that could be immediately used at Rockwood. Training topics included an overview of gambling terms and concepts, signs of problem gambling, assessment and screening tools, different evidence-based prevention and treatment models, strategies for supporting families, working with specific populations (youth, seniors, women, families, specific ethno-cultural groups), and brief referral and support services. There was a great deal of debate among the Problem-Gambling Task Force members and Rockwood’s evaluation staff about the appropriate approach to the evaluation. Some members felt that a goal-based model was right because the purpose of the evaluation was to assess whether the training program developed the needed competencies or not. The key evaluation task was to do assessments of competencies before-and-after training. Others disagreed. They felt that it was important for clinical staff and other stakeholders to participate in the evaluation process or for evaluation to be integrated into project development to maximize learning from the evaluation process. Still others felt that the end result of the evaluation should be to empower the clinical staff with the knowledge and skills they needed to develop programs unique to Rockwood and the specific needs of its clients.
Small Group Exercise #3 Worksheet Selecting an Evaluation Approach Review the proposed Rockwood case. 1. In your view, what are the primary purposes of this evaluation? 2. Select one evaluation approach (either goal-based, participatory, developmental or empowerment) and discuss how selecting that approach would affect the design of the evaluation (e.g., focus of the evaluation, types of questions asked, methods used to collect data, ownership of the evaluation). 3. Now select another evaluation approach (either goal-based, participatory, developmental or empowerment) and discuss how selecting this second approach would affect the design of the evaluation (e.g., focus of the evaluation, types of questions asked, methods used to collect data, ownership of the evaluation).
Small Group Exercise #4 • Which evaluation model would you personally use within your organization? • List your reasons for using this model. • How well does this model fit your organizational structure and culture?