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Chapter 14

PS282 Chapter 14 Summary.docx

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Colleen Loomis

PS282 Chapter 14 Summary Program Evaluation and Program Development Acting on Evaluation in Everyday Life  DARE is the most popular school based drug-use prevention network in the U.S  With DARE being so effective, it is limited on the number of evaluations of school curricula and limited evidence of its effectiveness when children are at most risk: in middle, junior high or senior high school.  Program evaluation and program development need to be linked so that empirical information can influence decisions  Evaluation is essential to program improvement and its effectiveness especially when values and viewpoints conflict.  Common complaints and fears about program evaluation: - evaluation can create anxiety among program staff - staff may be unsure how to conduct evaluation - evaluation can interfere with program activities or compete with services for scarce resources - evaluation results can be misused and misinterpreted especially by program opponents The Logic of Program Evaluation  Evaluation studies were designed to yield a final verdict on the programs effectiveness not the provide specific information on how to improve it  There are at least two reasons why programs don’t work: theory failure and implementation failure  Theory failure concerns program theory: the rationale for why a particular intervention is considered appropriate for a particular problem with a specific target population  Program theory also helps choose appropriate measurements or methods to study the effects of the program  Implementation failure concerns quality of program implementation  The logic model is a graphic representation of how the program works  Its top rows consist of four circles (conditions, activities, outcomes and impact) A Four-Step Model of Program Evaluation Step 1: Identifying Goals and Desired Outcomes  Goals represent what a project is striving for  Goals tend to be ambitious and set a framework for outcomes  Outcomes are more specific and represent what the project is accountable for  Program developers describe the programs: - primary goals – increasing parent involvement in the schools or reducing drug use - target groups – can described by demographics characteristics, developmental transitions, risk processes, locality and other criteria - desired outcomes – increases in attitudes rejecting smoking or decreases in school absences  The overall program goals are to reduce overall drug use and drug related arrests, accidents, and illnesses among youth Step 2: Process Evaluation  Several purposes…  First, monitoring program activities helps organize program efforts  It provides information to help manage the program and modify activities  Information in a process evaluation provides accountability that the program is conducting the activities it promised to do  It also can provide information about why the program worked or did not work  Process evaluation can help you decide whether or not you are ready to assess the effects of your program  Sometimes conditions change and what was planned isn’t what actually happens, so process evaluation helps keep track of such changes Step 3: Outcome Evaluation  Outcome evaluation assesses the immediate effects of a program  It is used in program evaluation and community psychology, it is concerned with measuring the short-term or immediate effects of a program on its participants or recipients  Basically, step 3 looks at the desired outcomes defined in step 1 and seeks evidence regarding the extent to which those outcomes were achieved Step 4: Impact Evaluation  Is concerned with the ultimate effects desired by a program  Outcomes (step 3) are immediate or short-term results of a program where as impacts are ultimate or longer term effects of the program  Sou
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