Posts Tagged: Evaluation
The Forum for Youth Investment produced a summary of tools for measuring program quality in 2009, Measuring Youth Program Quality. This report provided guidance on selecting an assessment tool for youth development programs, with information about several potential tools. They just released a new, similar report on measuring youth outcomes, From Soft Skills to Hard Data. Several outcomes tools are discussed, including the Developmental Assets Profile, the California Healthy Kids Survey, the San Francisco Beacons Youth Survey, and others.
The National Institutes of Health has issued new recommendations for best practices in performing mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) research. The authors comment that the use of a combination of methods helps to shed light on complex problems by providing multiple perspectives. The integration of multiple forms of data can maximize the strengths of a research project. Their recommendations are aimed primarily at NIH grant applicants, but include information that may be useful to researchers and evaluators whether they are applying for an NIH grant or not.
A new article in the Journal of Extension compares 4-H youth to other young people in six western states (MT, ID, UT, CO, NV, and NM). The comparison finds that youth in 4-H report having higher grades in school, lower levels of several risk behaviors (such as alcohol use, smoking, and sexual activity), and higher levels of positive responses to identity statements, such as "On the whole, I like myself." 4-H youth had higher levels of self-confidence and empowerment than non-4-H respondents. The report includes results by state.
There is a new online textbook available written by the former president of the American Evaluation Association, Michael Trochim. The intent of this book is to provide students and researchers with information about research and evaluation, including measurement, sampling, analysis, and writing.
The full textbook must be purchased, but there are several subsections which are available at this link.
The planning and evaluation cycle is described here. An overview of several aspects of measurement, validity, reliability, types of measures, research design, and several other topics are available at the site.
The May 2011 issue of Evaluation & Program Planning includes an article on "Ten Steps to Making Evaluation Matter." The article provides a ten step framework for the steps of best practice evaluation. The framework includes a full approach of the steps needed for full evaluation. This includes garnering a basic understanding of the program, identifying the program theory (effectively a logic model approach), evaluation design and implementation, and sustainability and impact.
The "Ten Steps in a Nutshell" are located here.