We are Rachel Leventon and Susan Wolfe, consultants at CNM Connect where we provide evaluation and capacity-building services and training to non-profit organizations in North Texas.
CNM Connect offers a Non-Profit Management Certificate. For this series, we developed and teach the seven-hour Program Planning and Evaluation Workshop. We combine three recognizable approaches to expose participants to basic program planning and evaluation concepts and we stress the importance of evaluable, thoughtfully-designed programs:
- We use Wiseman, Chinman, Ebener, Hunter, Imm, and Wandersman’s (2007) Getting to OutcomesTM 10-Step Model to frame the workshop.
- To deepen the program design portion of the workshop, we present John Gargani and Steward Donaldson’s Theory-Driven Program Design model, highlighting the development of Theories of Change and the importance of constituent values in program design.
- In the evaluation portion of the workshop, we introduce workshop participants to logic models using a modified version of Lien, Greenleaf, Lenke, Hakim, Swink, Wright and Meissen’s (2011) Tearless Logic Model.
Using these three resources in combination with CNM Connect’s outcomes-based program evaluation methodology, we ensure that the material is interesting and accessible to all participants, regardless of their background or specific interest in program planning or evaluation.
- To get started with the 10 steps, check out Getting to OutcomesTM: 10 Steps for Achieving Results-Based Accountability.
- Be on the lookout for Gargani and Donaldson’s forthcoming book: Practical Program Design and Redesign: A Theory-Driven Approach to Program Development and Developmental Evaluation.
- The Tearless Logic Model is presented in the December, 2011 issue of the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice. Each issue of this open source, online, peer-reviewed journal presents articles, tools, and other information that evaluators will find useful.
- While there are many other great evaluation and program design models and tools available, we have found that introducing too many different models became confusing for students. Instead we provide a detailed list of additional resources they can explore if interested.
- To learn more about Theory Driven-Program Design and Theory-Driven Evaluation, attend the annual AEA Conference or AEA Summer Institute and look for sessions presented by John Gargani or Stewart Donaldson.
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