AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

Oct/15

21

2-for-1 Week: Sharron Corle and Krista Granger on Uniform Organizational Evaluation and Assessment

Hi! Sharron Corle, Associate Director for Workforce & Leadership Development and Krista Granger, Program Manager for Data & Assessment, on uniform organizational evaluation and assessment. We work for a small not-for-profit member association, the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP), supporting maternal & child health professionals working in state public health agencies.

Like many member associations, including AEA, training and capacity-building are part of the continuum of support for our members. For years we struggled with comparing evaluation data across programs to see how well we were achieving these goals. Beginning in 2009, we made a significant investment in creating a rigorous, uniform evaluation and assessment program (EAP) to measure the impact and outcomes of our work. The goals of the EAP were to:

  1. Assure quality programs and products.
  2. Help achieve strategic plan goals and objectives.
  3. Meet reporting requirements.
  4. Improve the performance of the organization.

AMCHP’s four core areas of assessment, participant knowledge, satisfaction, relevance and applicability, are based on the Donald Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Evaluation Model – a widely accepted construct of measuring training effectiveness.

Using the EAP, AMCHP collects standard data elements across its programs. Data is recorded monthly on a performance dashboard, which enables staff and other stakeholders (such as our board of directors) to measure, monitor, and manage key activities and processes. We started the process by collecting the evaluation form used across teams – the binder was over three inches thick! Now we have common measures along with templates and tools used across programs. No more massive binders!

Lesson Learned: Get buy-in from staff by putting together a small cross-organizational team to help determine what key questions your evaluations should answer. Once you develop the core questions (and collectively confirm with the group), develop a strategy to put the core questions into “play” by training staff and developing templates and tools to make it easy for them to use the questions.

Hot Tip: Promote accountability by reporting results on a program “dashboard” (which can drive quality improvement (QI) efforts) – we recently completed three QI projects related to dashboard data, but that is a story for another day!

Rad Resources:

  • Check out the AMCHP evaluation template to see how we incorporated Donald Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Evaluation Model into our uniform evaluations.

Access the AMCHP dashboard template for ideas on how to measure, monitor, and manage key activities and processes of your programs.

We’re celebrating 2-for-1 Week here at aea365. With tremendous interest in the blog lately, we’ve had many authors eager to share their evaluation wisdom, so for one special week, readers will be treated to two blog posts per day! Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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