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Different Types of Evaluation

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So there’s lots that we could be doing. We could, for example, be doing some needs assessment. We could be doing focus group testing of messaging that we might be using for social marketing. We could administer surveys to get some feedback on existing services or identifying gaps. We could be doing pilot studies. All of these techniques could be used as part of a formative evaluation.
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We then move to this idea of a process evaluation.
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And the process evaluation is asking us: did we implement this program? Did we implement this intervention as it was planned? And if we did, was it acceptable to the audience? We might ask questions around the quality, the time, the budget, its acceptability, its accessibility, about how capacity to engage with the audience that we wanted to? To retain the audience through the whole program. Any number of elements could be examined here. So do the people like, for example, the way the training’s been run? Was it an acceptable length? Was the group size acceptable? Were the facilitators skilled? Were they appropriate for the target group? All of this can be collected through a range of different feedback techniques.
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It could be surveys, but as I will show you later, there were a whole range of other techniques we could use to examine process. You could also be asking issues around timing, availability, location, food, all sorts of things. The idea of process evaluation is to assess those things that may impact upon the implementation and may allow us to answer questions about was this implemented in the way we intended to? And if not, what were the things that changed and why? And here are just some examples. Now, this is actually from one of our training programs. You’ll see it’s combining a combination of closed questions, yes/no responses, with also some open questions as well.
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And we’ve written these up with percentages associated with each response and examples of the open-ended questions. This is just one way of gathering process evaluation. So formative valuation is important. Process evaluation tells us are we doing things the way we said we were going to do. Impact evaluation allows us to go out to the funders and other people and talk about did we make a difference? So have we changed what we said we were going to change and as part of that you may remember that there was impact evaluation taken before the implementation and also after. And that was just to illustrate the fact that we may need to collect baseline data. It asks us about the immediate effects.
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It may ask us about awareness, knowledge, changes and attitudes, skills, perhaps influencing on community behavior, community norms, changes to policy regulation. Technical changes or environmental changes all can be assessed during the impact evaluation phase. So for example, it might ask us if we were running a program on physical activity about exercise adherence, duration intensity, perhaps it might ask questions around the number of people who change their diet and improve the diet. The nature of the questions asked depends upon, obviously, the implementation or the intervention and what the original goals and objectives were. As I said, there’s an element that often can happen before and after, and the methods used are varied.
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We typically might use observation, changes in behavior, we could look at surveys. We could use focus groups, interviews, it depends upon what it is you want to do at the end. Have you set this up as an experimental design? Is this a community intervention? Have you designed it? And what is the nature of the commentary you want to make at the end? What claims do you want to be able to make in relation to the intervention?

Dr. Bruce will continue to introduce the evaluation method in this video. diagram

All the arrows shown in the diagram are the timing to perform an evaluation. We will first see formative evaluation. Formative evaluation is important:

  • Development stages of an intervention
  • Tests the efficacy of strategies and evaluation approaches
  • Informs how interventions can be best implemented
  • Helps ascertain whether goals and objectives are realistic
  • Helps identify measures of change to be used

Dr. Bruce then gives a few examples of how to perform the formative evaluation.

Next, we will see process evaluation. Process evaluation tells us are we doing things the way we said we were going to do. These are the key elements for process evaluation:

  • Program implementation
  • Program quality
  • Time and budget
  • Acceptability
  • Engagement and retention

dia2 Dr. Bruce then presents an example of evaluation results of process evaluation from his training programs. You’ll see it’s combining a combination of closed questions, yes/no responses, with also some open questions as well.

Last, Dr. Bruce will talks on impact evaluation. Impact evaluation allows us to go out to the funders and other people and ask them about the changes and effects. These are the elements when you acquire information:

  • Immediate effects
  • Awareness
  • Knowledge
  • Attitudes
  • Skills
  • Community norms
  • Policy changes
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