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

TAG | HIV

I’m Lisle Hites, Director of the Evaluation and Assessment Unit (EAU) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). I’m writing to share my team’s experiences in conducting needs assessments.

We frequently have opportunities to work with our colleagues on campus to conduct needs assessments for grant-funded projects. One such example was a training grant through the School of Nursing, and we provide it to highlight the value of gathering more than one perspective in assessing needs.

In 2012, CDC data revealed that the South is the epicenter of new infections of HIV; compared to other regions, 46% of all new infections occurred in the region, with a higher percentage of women (24%) and African-Americans (58%) represented in the new infections. Therefore, it is critically important that healthcare providers receive HIV/AIDS training in order to provide HIV/AIDS primary care to meet current and future healthcare demands.

To establish workforce training capacity, we sent surveys to two key healthcare audiences: (1) potential training sites (Ryan White Grantees) and (2) future family nurse practitioners (FNPs). Responses identified both a shortage of trained HIV/AIDS healthcare providers as well as an interest by providers and students to establish clinical training opportunities. Additionally, 78% of current FNP students enrolled at one research institution in the south resided within 60 miles of a Ryan White Grantee site in a tri-state region.

Lessons Learned:

  • The design of this needs assessment allowed us to consider the capacity of Ryan White Grantee sites to provide clinical training opportunities for FNP students.
  • The survey captured the interest and desire of FNP students to seek the skills necessary to provide HIV/AIDS primary care.

Despite the current and future needs for a trained healthcare workforce, healthcare providers in the Deep South still encounter many of the same attitudes toward people living with HIV/AIDS as were found in the early years of the epidemic; therefore, it was necessary to identify a pool of potential candidates for training (i.e., FNP students). At the same time, little was known regarding the capacity and willingness of Ryan White Grantee sites to provide an adequate number of opportunities to meet the training needs of these students. By considering both sides of the equation, we could accurately match the number of students and training sites to ensure a high degree of satisfaction and success for both parties.

Rad Resources: 

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Needs Assessment (NA) TIG Week with our colleagues in the Needs Assessment Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our NA TIG members. 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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My name is Leah Christina Neubauer. I am the President of the Chicagoland Evaluation Association and the Program Manager and an Instructor in the MPH Program at DePaul University.

Today, I am writing to extend three updates from the Practice committee of the AEA Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation Dissemination Working Group. We are working on projects to disseminate the statement and integrate the contents into evaluation practice. The following updates are shared in the form of RAD RESOURCES. Enjoy!

Rad Resources:

  1. HIV/AIDS Focused with National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC): Task Force Members Cindy Crusto and Leah Neubauer are collaborating with Robin Kelly and NMAC in the development of culturally-responsive data plans for the local and statewide HIV/AIDS response.  NMAC is focused on building leadership and healthier communities to address HIV/AIDS across the US.  For more information, check out this link: http://nmac.org/resources/
  2. LGBT Health with George Washington University: Task Force Members Crusto and Neubauer are collaborating with Stephen Forsell to further develop culture and LGBTQI issues in evaluation. Forsell is currently leading a LGBT Health Certification program at GWU. For more information about this program, check out this link: http://programs.columbian.gwu.edu/lgbt/
  3. Future Scholarship Talk with the AEA GEDI Scholars: Task Force Members Katrina Bledsoe and Neubauer joined Stewart Donaldson and the Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Scholars at the Inaugural Conference on Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) in Chicago, Illinois.  The discussion was quite lively and the time at the inaugural conference was well-spent.  For more information on GEDI or CREA, check out the hyperlinks.Clipped from http://education.illinois.edu/crea/conference 

This week, we’re diving into issues of Cultural Competence in Evaluation with AEA’s Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation Dissemination Working Group. 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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Hi, I am Robin T. Kelley and am an internal evaluator at a national nonprofit health organization that is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide free capacity building assistance to HIV prevention organizations, health departments and their HIV planning groups.

In the HIV/AIDS field, there are a number of changes occurring; here are just a few major ones:  In 2010, there was the release of the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy. All funded entities are now striving to align themselves with the major goals of this strategy. As of  2011, scientific studies that showed the effectiveness of adherence to HIV medicine in reducing the viral loads,  resources are placed into, biomedical interventions and the  emphasis is now placed  more on organizations conducting  high impact HIV prevention.

Lessons Learned:

One key method of building an organization’s ability to manage complex situations, particularly small organizations that serve vulnerable populations, or populations of color-is to strengthen their change management leadership skills.  Research has shown that in times of complexity, such as shifting federal and health priorities, organizations, businesses that serve minorities  often shut their doors first ,leaving underserved communities abandoned and without services.  To sustain these agencies, evaluators as well as program managers should be agile and flexible in understanding the community needs, their resources, staff strengths as well as weaknesses-to best manage the changes.

Hot Tips:

Here are some steps to take and useful tools to address HIV changes and changes in general:

1)     First, help the organization conduct an organizational diagnosis.  They must know what they have in order to consider what to change.

2)     Second, help the organization to conduct an environmental scan or asset mapping of their community to determine if there is still a need for their services.

3)     Then to help organizations to analyze the data.  Based on the findings, help the organization to do a SWOT analysis (an analysis of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).  Depending on these findings,  perhaps  there is a way to merge efforts with another organization;

4)     Next, help the organizations communicate changes to all staff; without constant communication, rumors can fly and morale can sink.

5)     Finally, help the organization to create a process log so that they can record the number of new service requests and activities and to continue to justify their existence.

Rad Resources:

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating the Business, Leadership, and Performance TIG (BLP) Week. The contributions all week come from BLP members. 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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Can community members be meaningfully engaged in evaluations when time is short? Our experience suggests that they can. We are Robin Lin Miller and Miles McNall. Robin is Professor of Ecological and Community Psychology and Miles is Associate Director of the Community Evaluation and Research Collaborative, both at Michigan State University. We have evaluated community-based HIV prevention programs for gay and bisexual men of color since the mid-1980s. We recently completed Michigan’s first statewide HIV-prevention needs assessment for young Black gay and bisexual men. The state required community involvement and completion of the project in 12 months.

Lessons learned: Involving communities in a meaningful fashion and in ways that are safe, respectful, and responsive to their needs, concerns, and experiences can be challenging. Yet, community members’ involvement helps to ensure that an evaluation adequately and credibly represents their values, perspectives, and needs. Providers and policy makers in Michigan paid particular attention to our work because community members were visibly and deeply involved. Below we offer tips on how to facilitate meaningful involvement.

Hot tip: Embed inclusive processes in every possible phase of the evaluation. Six diverse young Black gay and bisexual men from across the state served as co-investigators and worked on essential tasks including: establishing information gathering priorities; designing recruitment procedures and interview protocols; selecting and training interviewers; analyzing and interpreting data; and disseminating the results at state forums. We made decisions as an 8-person team. If we had to act too quickly for a team discussion, we shared with young men what we did and why immediately via a group email.

Hot tip: Go the extra mile – literally. Face-to-face meetings better allowed everyone to participate equally, fully, and comfortably. We invested time and money so that transportation and young men’s at-home obligations were not obstacles to participation. We drove across the state and back so that men without cars, drivers’ licenses, or money could attend meetings. We covered men’s driving expenses and those of adults in the community who volunteered to drive them to meetings; we provided community drivers food and a comfortable place to work during our meetings. We paid young men for their time. We shared a meal at every meeting. Eating together fostered an environment of caring and respect, and contributed to young men’s feelings that this project was theirs.

Rad resources: Merten’s Transformative Research and Evaluation offers theoretical and practical guidance on how to conduct evaluations that put disempowered people at the center of an evaluation. She provides thoughtful insight on how evaluators can legitimate the experiences of people who lack social power and promote socially just outcomes.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating LGBT Evaluation Week with our colleagues in the LGBT AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our LGBT members and you may wish to consider subscribing to our weekly headlines and resources list where we’ll be highlighting LGBT resources. 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.

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