Public Health Program Planning and Evaluation
by
Chris Lovato
  • LAST REVIEWED: 05 May 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 22 April 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756797-0027

Introduction

At the most basic level, program planning is a process that is designed to address questions such as “What is needed?” and “How will the needs be addressed?” Through a systematic process the answers to these questions form the basis of an intervention approach. Program evaluation focuses on addressing whether the intervention is working. Evaluation includes questions related to how and if a program is working as it was intended and if there are any unintended consequences. With a new intervention, program planning is obviously the initial mandate, but over the life of the program, planning and evaluation are both part of an ongoing cycle of continuous improvement and renewal. The methods and approaches used in program planning and evaluation occur throughout the lifecycle of a program—from planning and implementing to assessing outcomes. Typically, the program planning cycle begins with the needs assessment process (see Oxford Bibliographies article titled Needs Assessment), progresses to identifying strategies to address needs, and then moves into implementation and evaluation that occurs in a continuous cycle, which facilitates ongoing review of needs and program improvement. In practice, the process and methods used in needs assessment and program planning are the same for evaluation; for example, connecting with stakeholders, developing a program description, specifying a target process and outcomes, identifying or developing measures, designing and collecting data, and disseminating results. Generally speaking, the roles and competencies of program planners overlap with those of evaluators. In the past, some authors have addressed program planning and evaluation separately; however, they are highly interrelated. When a clear program plan is not in place, it is difficult and often impossible to conduct a credible evaluation, and over the long-term evaluation will include program planning as the program is improved or modified to meet evolving needs. Because the types of questions addressed in program planning and evaluation are relevant to a broad array of disciplines including education, business, health, and the social sciences there are a range of perspectives and resources available on the topic. Whether planning or evaluating, the practitioner applies theory, research findings, and the most rigorous methods possible to a real-world setting to address practical questions relevant to stakeholders including funders, those who benefit from a program, or others who have some connection or interest in the problem being addressed. The methods applied seek to apply the logic of science in settings that cannot be controlled and are often highly political in nature. Thus, program planning and evaluation are as much art as science; they are part of an ongoing cycle of development, improvement, and adaptation in public health programs.

Introductory Works

A number of excellent introductory materials and resources are available online including Building Healthy Communities, and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. The Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health (Centers for Disease Control 1999) and the Program Evaluation Toolkit (Porteous, et al. 1997) both lead the user through the stages of program evaluation. The Community Toolbox (Work Group for Community Health and Development 2010), sponsored by the University of Kansas, is a comprehensive website for program planners and evaluators that also links users to a variety of helpful resources. The Evaluation Checklists Site includes a variety of practical checklists for those involved in planning and conducting an evaluation. Mathison 2005 is an excellent source of succinct information on a broad range of fundamental topics in planning and evaluation. The Online Health Program Planner from Public Health Ontario is a practical resource with step-by-step guidelines for planning.

  • Centers for Disease Control. 1999. Framework for program evaluation in public health. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 48.RR-11.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A widely used framework comprised of six steps in program evaluation practice and four key standards for effective program evaluation (i.e., utility, feasibility, propriety, and accuracy). Provides a good model for thinking about the steps involved in planning and evaluating a program. For more information, see the Centers for Disease Control’s Office of the Associate Director for Program: Program Evaluation

    Find this resource:

    • Evaluation Checklists.

      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      This Western Michigan University website provides checklists for every aspect of the evaluation process (e.g., designing, implementing, report writing, etc.). A practical guide for many aspects of evaluation practice.

      Find this resource:

      • Mathison, Sandra, ed. 2005. Encyclopedia of evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        Concise descriptions on a broad range of topics related to the who, what, where, how, and why of evaluation. A good source for introductory information about any topic related to evaluation and planning. Some additional resources on each topic are also provided.

        Find this resource:

        • Porteous, Nancy L., Barbara J. Sheldrick, and Paula J. Stewart. 1997. Program evaluation toolkit: A blue print for public health management. Ottawa, Canada: Ottawa-Carleton Health Department.

          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          This resource describes the evaluation process in five major steps, beginning with “Focusing the Evaluation.” There are worksheets for each step that are very useful for evaluators and planners at all levels.

          Find this resource:

          • Online Health Program Planner 2.0. Public Health Ontario.

            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            Provides health planning tools, including worksheets. A six-step program plan to facilitate evidence-informed decision making. A Business Case Creator guides the user through three steps designed to help make a decision about whether a project should move forward. A practical site for professionals at all levels. French and English.

            Find this resource:

            • W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              This website provides resources to support the Foundation’s mission to “develop, capture, and communicate useful and usable information for key stakeholders and other audiences.” This website is a widely used, excellent source of information with step-by-step guides and user tools.

              Find this resource:

              • Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. 2010. Part J, Evaluating community programs and initiatives. In The community toolbox. Lawrence: Univ. of Kansas.

                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Located within the Community Toolbox website, this toolbox has been recognized as the world’s largest resource for supporting community health and capacity building. Part J, which covers chapters 36, 37, 38, and 39, offers users excellent support for planning and conducting program evaluation. Provides a practical step-by-step guide with resources, real world examples, and hyperlinks to other sites. Users should click through on links for additional sections.

                Find this resource:

                Textbooks

                Program planning and evaluation are essential competencies in public health practice. These skills and activities are relevant to many disciplines including education, business, health, and the social sciences, and thus a multitude of textbooks are available in these areas. This section focuses primarily on textbooks that are oriented to public health and approach program planning and evaluation as interrelated activities that comprise an ongoing cycle of development, improvement, and adaptation. Harris 2010, Issel 2004, and McKenzie, et al. 2009 all provide frameworks that lead planners from the early stages of planning to dissemination of information from evaluation. Bartholomew, et al. 2011 uses intervention mapping to guide the planner and evaluator, and Green and Kreuter 2005 present the precede–proceed model, which guides users through seven major phases of planning and evaluation. Other widely used classic texts in evaluation that focus on social and educational programs more broadly include Rossi, et al. 2004, Weiss 1998, and Patton 2008.

                • Bartholomew, L. Kay, Guy S. Parcel, Gerjo Kok, Nell J. Gottlieb, and María E. Fernandez. 2011. Planning health promotion programs. 3d ed. San Francisco: Wiley.

                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  This text provides a step-by-step guide to intervention mapping, a process of health promotion program development that is composed of six steps, beginning with needs assessment and ending with planning for evaluation. The authors address new programs as well as programs that require adaptation. Two chapters provide an excellent review of behavior and environment-oriented theories.

                  Find this resource:

                  • Green, Lawrence W., and Marshall W. Kreuter. 2005. Health program planning: An educational and ecological approach. 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    This book describes the precede–proceed model of health program planning, which is based on an ecological approach and highlights community participation. One of the most widely applied planning models in public health. A comprehensive list of articles, chapters, and books in which the model has been applied is available online.

                    Find this resource:

                    • Harris, Muriel J. 2010. Evaluating public and community health programs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      Addresses the continuum of program activities from community assessment to planning, program design, and evaluation. Chapters on quantitative and qualitative data collection, analysis, and reporting findings. Centers for Disease Control’s six-step Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health (see Centers for Disease Control 1999, cited under Introductory Works) and Donaldson’s three-step program theory-driven evaluation model (see Donaldson 2007, cited under Theory and Logic Modeling) provide a foundation for the text. Supplemental materials include worksheets, scenarios, and guidelines.

                      Find this resource:

                      • Issel, L. Michele. 2004. Health program planning and evaluation: A practical systematic approach for community health. Sadbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        Focuses on the processes involved in planning and evaluating health programs. Uses the public health pyramid as a framework for addressing the full range of program types—from individual health services to population-based services and the health infrastructure.

                        Find this resource:

                        • McKenzie, James F., Brad L. Neiger, and Rosemary Thackeray. 2009. Planning, implementing and evaluating health promotion programs: A primer. 5th ed. San Francisco: Pearson/Cummings.

                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          Specifically written for those working in health promotion. Includes relevant theories, models, and examples from a range of practice settings. Addresses topics from initial program planning steps to reporting evaluation results. A good basic introduction to planning and evaluation in the health promotion field.

                          Find this resource:

                          • Patton, Michael Quinn. 2008. Utilization focused evaluation. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            A book that is widely used by evaluators at all levels. Focuses on designing and implementing evaluations that are responsive to the needs of users. Easy to read, practical, and participatory; includes international examples; an authoritative textbook with good doses of humor throughout.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Rossi, Peter H., Mark W. Lipsey, and Howard E. Freeman. 2004. Evaluation: A systematic approach. 7th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              This introduction to evaluation of social programs is one of the classic texts in the field. It addresses needs assessment, developing program theory as well as process and outcome evaluation. An excellent resource for quantitative methods in planning and evaluation.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Weiss, C. H. 1998. Evaluation: Methods for studying programs and policies. 2d ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                An introduction to program evaluation widely used as a text. This book emphasizes the importance of understanding a program’s theory to conduct good evaluation. Provides helpful insights into the political aspects of conducting evaluation. Includes a nontechnical discussion on data analysis.

                                Find this resource:

                                Journals

                                There are a number of journals available that are devoted to the area of evaluation and also address program planning topics. While at least one journal is specifically dedicated to the area of health (Evaluation and the Health Professions), most journals cross disciplinary areas. The American Journal of Evaluation, sponsored by the American Evaluation Association, is considered a premier journal in the field of evaluation. Other journals that frequently publish articles focusing on planning and evaluation topics that are applicable to public health include the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, Evaluation Review, Evaluation and Program Planning. The Journal of Multidisciplinary Evaluation is an open-access peer-reviewed e-journal that publishes articles and information about planning and evaluation in a variety of formats. Each issue of New Directions focuses on a single topic germane to planning and evaluation.

                                • American Journal of Evaluation. 1980–.

                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  Articles focus on a range of topics related to program planning and evaluation as applied to many different fields of practice, including the health sciences. Special sections include ethics, interviews with experts, methods notes, teaching evaluation, and a forum on issues. Published quarterly.

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation. 1986–.

                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    Articles address a broad range of topics including theory, methods, and the practice of evaluation. This is an excellent resource for practical examples and applications of different approaches to evaluation and evaluation of interest to public health professionals. Published twice a year.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    • Evaluation and the Health Professions. 1978–.

                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      Targeted to health-related professionals, this journal publishes articles that focus on methods measurement, and statistical tools for assessing needs, and developing, implementing and evaluating health programs as well as health professions education. Published quarterly.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Evaluation and Program Planning. 1978–.

                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        Publishes articles from a broad range of fields that apply methods relevant to both planning and evaluation. Articles address planning and evaluating projects in both the public and private sectors. Evaluation studies include a section “lessons learned” with practical advice. Published quarterly.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Evaluation Review.

                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          A journal focused on applied social research and designed for professionals working in a range of areas including health, education, mental health, criminal justice and the physical and social environments. Includes articles on methodological issues and commentaries on the application of research results. Published six times per year.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          • Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation. 2004–.

                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            This open-access, peer-reviewed e-journal is sponsored by Western Michigan University. Addresses topics on evaluation practice, methodological approaches, and issues on a broad range of topics in a variety of formats. Content includes articles on evaluation, book reviews, commentaries, notes on ideas, and descriptions of practical applications. Published twice per year.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            • New Directions for Evaluation. 1978–.

                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              Each issue of the journal focuses on a single topic related to evaluation theory and practice in a variety of contexts. In depth discussions on a range of topics (e.g., managing program evaluation, environmental program and policy evaluation). Some issues consist of related chapters, a debate, or a long article with commentaries that follow. Published quarterly.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              Theory and Logic Modeling

                                              In evaluation, theory is typically referred to in two different ways. First, it refers to the work of different writers in evaluation who have developed an approach or way of thinking about evaluation. Second, it refers to theory-driven evaluation in which the evaluation study is based on the program theory underlying the intervention. Theory, as described here, is relevant to planners because it defines the assumptions underlying how the program and the evaluation are approached. One of the tools for facilitating theory-driven evaluation is logic modeling. A logic model provides a concise graphic representation that facilitates thinking through and communicating the purpose of a program, its components, the sequence of activities, and outcomes anticipated. Originally, logic models were used primarily by evaluators to identify performance measures. More recently, however, logic modeling has been widely used to facilitate program planning as well. Work Group for Community Health and Development 2010 and W. K. Kellogg Foundation 2004 (also see Work Group for Community Health and Development 2010 and W. K. Kellogg Foundation, both cited under Introductory Works) provide background and how to develop a logic model. Alkin 2004 focuses on the history of evaluation theories. Stufflebeam and Shinkfield 2007 address evaluation theory, as well as evaluation standards. The primary focus of Donaldson 2007 is on program theory-driven evaluation, but also addresses evaluation theory. Rossi, et al. 2004 and Weiss 1998 (see entries under section Textbooks) also include sections on theory and logic modeling in their textbooks.

                                              • Alkin, Marvin C., ed. 2004. Evaluation roots: Tracing theorists’ views and influences. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE

                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                This book focuses on evaluation theories—their history, evolution, similarities and differences. It provides background information important to understanding evaluation theory. An evaluation tree serves as the metaphor to elucidate the roots from which theories have grown. Essays by evaluation theorists describe their theory and views on their placement on the tree, as well as their own development.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                • Donaldson, Stewart I. 2007. Program theory-driven evaluation science: Strategies and applications. New York: Erlbaum.

                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  This book provides case examples of implementing program theory-driven evaluation science that describe the development of the program impact theory, identification of evaluation questions, and how they were answered. The first part of the book provides a historical perspective on evaluation theory and the emergence of program theory-driven evaluation. A valuable resource for planners and evaluators applying the principles and procedures of theory-driven evaluation.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  • W. K. Kellogg Foundation. 2004. Logic model development guide. Battle Creek, MI: W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    This resource, developed for staff of nonprofits and community members, provides an excellent introduction to the principles of logic modeling. Guides the reader through step-by-step process to developing a logic model using worksheets and templates.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    • Stufflebeam, Daniel L., and Anthony J. Shinkfield. 2007. Evaluation theory, models, and applications. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      This book reviews the history of evaluation, theory, standards, models, and approaches. Provides readers guidance on selecting among different approaches and includes a section with an application of seven widely used approaches.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. 2010. Developing a logic model or theory of change. In The community toolbox. Lawrence: Univ. of Kansas.

                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        This resource is located within the Community Toolbox (chapter 2, section 1). It provides information about the what, why, when, who, and how of logic modeling. Real-world examples are provided as well as tools, checklists, and links to related resources.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        Professional Practice

                                                        There are several organizations internationally that are devoted to the professional practice of evaluation including the American Evaluation Association, Australian Evaluation Society, Canadian Evaluation Society, and European Evaluation Society. While these organizations identify evaluation as their primary focus, their publications, services, and special interest groups are also relevant to program planning. As part of their mission to serve professionals, they sponsor websites with a wide variety of resources from publications to training and employment opportunities. Stevahn, et al. 2005 outlines essential competencies for evaluators, Yarbrough, et al. 2011 delineates standards for practice, and the American Evaluation Association Guideline Principles for Evaluators describes the five key principles that guide practice.

                                                        • American Evaluation Association.

                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          The American Evaluation Association is a professional association for program, personnel, technology and most other forms of evaluation. This site a source for identifying online resources including publications, links, listservs, training programs, and so on. Some sections are available to American Evaluation Association members only with login.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          • American Evaluation Association Guiding Principles for Evaluators.

                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            Provides a guide to evaluation practice for evaluators, clients and the general public. There are thirty standards in five key areas. Useful information for practitioners at all levels in clarifying roles and responsibilities. Contains information essential for all professional practitioners working in planning and evaluation.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            • Australian Evaluation Society.

                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              The Australasian Evaluation Society website provides information about professional learning opportunities, access to sample reports, stories, book reviews, articles published in the Evaluation Journal of Australasia (current issue available to Australian Evaluation Society members with login; back issues are available to public).

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Canadian Evaluation Society.

                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                The Canadian Evaluation Society is a bilingual (English/French) association. The website provides information about professional development opportunities and a range of resources including evaluation reports and unpublished literature. Some resources restricted to Canadian Evaluation Society members with login.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                • European Evaluation Society.

                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  Website includes information about training, jobs, conferences, evaluation standards, and organizations within the evaluation community. The multilingual evaluation glossaries are a useful resource.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • Stevahn, Laurie, Jean A. King, Gail Ghere, and Jane Minnema. 2005. Establishing essential competencies for program evaluators. American Journal of Evaluation 26.1: 43–59.

                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/1098214004273180Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    This article presents the rationale for identifying evaluator competencies. It provides a taxonomy of essential evaluator competencies, which is built on previous work by the same authors. Describes needs for future research and conceptual development of this area. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    • Yarbrough, Donald B., Lyn M. Shulha, Rodney K. Hopson, and Flora A. Caruthers. 2011. The program evaluation standards: A guide for evaluators and evaluation users. 3d ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE

                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Developed to help ensure the practice of useful, feasible, ethical, and sound evaluation in education. The standards are used by evaluators in many fields including public health. The five standards address a broad range of issues and define the principles that should guide evaluation activities including planning.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      Approaches

                                                                      Because program planning and evaluation are so closely interrelated, their methods and practices have much in common. This section highlights articles that address selected topics relevant to both planning and evaluation. Donaldson, et al. 2009 addresses what counts as evidence for decision making and Rychetnic, et al. 2002 discusses issues related to quality of evidence within the context of public health versus clinical practice. Frerichs and Shaheen 2001 describes the use of a technique for rapid collection of data for planning and evaluating population level programs. Green and Glasgow 2006 provides planners with a guide to assess the applicability of research findings to their setting. Patton 2011 describes the application of developmental evaluation and systems theory in guiding the adaptation of interventions over time. King, et al. 2007 explores the meaning of participation in planning and evaluation and how the concept has evolved over time. Pattons 2001, a book on qualitative research and methods, is a comprehensive guide for conducting qualitative studies, and Thomas 2006 offers an easy, systematic procedure for analyzing qualitative data for focused questions. Renger, et al. 2002 provides an introduction to geographic information systems (GIS) and their application to program evaluation.

                                                                      • Donaldson, Stewart I., Christina A. Christie, and Melvin M. Mark, eds. 2009. What counts as credible evidence in applied research and evaluation practice? Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        Based on the proceedings of a symposium, this edited work is an excellent resource for those interested in understanding alternatives to randomized control trials. Covers the fundamental issue facing evaluations—what counts as reliable evidence for decision making? Includes the chapter, “Randomized Controlled Trials: A Gold Standards with Feet of Clay” by Leonard Bickman and Stephanie M. Reich (pp. 51–77).

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Frerichs, Ralph R., and Magda A. Shaheen. 2001. Small-community-based-surveys. Annual Review of Public Health 22:231–247.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.22.1.231Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          This article describes the use of a rapid-survey technique to collect health information at a population level. The technique is useful for program planning and evaluation and often used in developing countries. The authors demonstrate the use of this technique to determine immunization status in Los Angeles. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Green, Lawrence W., and Russell E. Glasgow. 2006. Evaluating the relevance, generalization, and applicability of research: Issues in external validation and translation methodology. Evaluation and the Health Professions 29.1: 126–153.

                                                                            DOI: 10.1177/0163278705284445Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            This article provides a guide for public health practitioners in asking questions that help assess the applicability of research and adapt available knowledge to their setting. A helpful resource for planners and evaluators, it is based on the proposition that “if we want more evidence-based practice, we need more practice-based evidence.” Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            • King, Jean A., J. Bradley Cousins, and Elizabeth Whitmore. 2007. Making sense of participatory evaluation: Framing participatory evaluation. Special Issue: Enduring Issues in Evaluation: The 20th Anniversary of the Collaboration Between NDE and AEA. Edited by Sandra Mathison. New Directions for Evaluation 2007.114: 83–105.

                                                                              DOI: 10.1002/ev.226Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              An insightful article that explores the concept and meaning of participation, which is a basic tenet underlying many different approaches in planning and evaluation. The authors describe how participatory evaluation has evolved and distinguish between practical (focus on supporting a program or organization) and transformative (seeks to empower community groups) participatory evaluation. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              • Patton, Michael Quinn. 2001. Qualitative research and evaluation methods. 3d ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                A comprehensive resource on qualitative methods in program evaluation. Describes issues involved in qualitative inquiry, guides the reader through design analysis, interpretation and report writing. Includes many examples from the field; a very practical guide.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                • Patton, Michael Quinn. 2011. Developmental evaluation: Applying complexity concepts to enhance innovation and use. New York: Guilford.

                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  Developmental evaluation is an approach that focuses on using evaluation methods to guide adaptation of an intervention to emerging circumstances in complex settings. This book addresses how it can be used across the program planning cycle drawing from systems theory to facilitate understanding and utility. Readable and practical with many case examples and stories.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • Renger, Ralf, Adriana Cimetta, Sydney Pettygrove, and Seumas Rogan. 2002. Geographic information systems (GIS) as an evaluation tool. American Journal of Evaluation 23.4: 469–479.

                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    This article provides an introduction to how GIS can be used by planners and evaluators to communicate effectively complex information by using spatial representation (i.e., mapping). Applicability of GIS in demonstrating change over time is discussed. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    • Rychetnic, L., M. Frommer, P. Hawe, and A. Shiell. 2002. Criteria for evaluating evidence on public health interventions. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 56:119–127.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.1136/jech.56.2.119Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      This article grapples with questions about judging the quality of research evidence in public health versus clinical practice, a critical challenge for public health planners. Proposes aspects of evaluative evidence in public health not addressed by criteria used for research in clinical settings. Comparison of appraisal schemata is informative.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      • Thomas, David R. 2006. A general inductive approach for analyzing qualitative evaluation data. American Journal of Evaluation 27.2: 237–246.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.1177/1098214005283748Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        This article describes an easy and systematic set of procedures for analyzing qualitative data for addressing focused evaluation questions. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        Utilization

                                                                                        A critical phase of the program planning and evaluation cycle is communicating and utilizing results from studies. Weiss 1998 grapples with the broader meaning of evaluation use,” Blake and Ottoson 2009 reviews the literature in knowledge utilization and discuss implications for evaluation. Torres, et al. 2005 describes approaches and techniques to creatively disseminate the findings from planning and evaluation. Greene 1988 describes the links between stakeholder participation and different forms of utilization.

                                                                                        • Blake, Sarah C., and Judith M. Ottoson. 2009. Knowledge Utilization: Implications for Evaluation. Special Issue: Knowledge Utilization, Diffusion, Implementation, Transfer and Translation: Implications for Evaluation. Edited by Judith M. Ottoson and Penelope Hawe. New Directions for Evaluations 2009.124: 21–34.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.1002/ev.311Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          This literature review examines the history of knowledge utilization and its interdisciplinary roots. A valuable review for those struggling to make meaning of the literature and sometimes confusing rhetoric in this area. The authors’ discussion of practical implications is useful for both planning and evaluation. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • Greene, Jennifer C. 1988. Communication of results and utilization in participatory program evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning 11.4: 341–351.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1016/0149-7189(88)90047-XSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            The literature describes participatory methods as fundamental to enhancing utilization of findings from planning and evaluation. In this article the author explains the links between utilization and stakeholder participation. Two case studies are presented as evidence to support the argument that the key elements of participation support different forms of use. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            • Torres, Rosalie, Hallie Preskill, and Mary E. Pionteck. 2005. Evaluation strategies for communicating and reporting. 2d ed. Thousand Islands, CA: SAGE.

                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              This book focuses on how to improve the utilization of results through reporting. Emphasizes collaborative approaches and a variety of communication techniques to help results of your evaluation or planning study gets used. This second edition has worksheets and instructions. A great resource to inspire ideas.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • Weiss, Carol H. 1998. Have we learned anything new about the use of evaluation? American Journal of Evaluation 19.1: 21–33.

                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                In this printed version of Weiss’s speech to the American Evaluation Association, she discusses the concept of use by addressing three questions—what is meant by use, what is it that is used, and who are the users. This article provides the reader with a broad perspective on this important topic. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                back to top

                                                                                                Article

                                                                                                Up

                                                                                                Down