Getting To Outcomes(TM) 2004

Getting To Outcomes(TM) 2004: Promoting Accountability Through Methods and Tools for Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation

Copyright Date: 2004
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 178
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  • Book Info
    Getting To Outcomes(TM) 2004
    Book Description:

    Incorporating traditional evaluation, empowerment evaluation, results-based accountability, and continuous quality improvement, this manual's ten-step process enhances practitioners' substance abuse prevention skills while empowering them to plan, implement, and evaluate their own programs. The manual's text and worksheets address needs and resources assessment; goals and objectives; choosing programs; ensuring program "fit"; capacity, planning, process, and outcome evaluation; continuous quality improvement; and sustainability.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-5996-3
    Subjects: Health Sciences, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Glossary
    (pp. xv-xxii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)

    The primary purpose of this manual is to help communities improve the quality of their programs aimed at preventing or reducing drug use among youth. Funders are increasingly mandating “accountability” for the public or private funds they provide by demanding high-quality outcome data to determine the success of programs. This manual describes a community planning, implementation, and evaluation model—organized as ten accountability questions—to help your agency, school, or community coalition conduct needs assessments, select best practice programs that fit your community, and to effectively plan, implement, and evaluate those programs. With high-quality process and outcome data, your group...

  7. Chapter One Question #1: What Are the Underlying Needs and Conditions in the Community? (Needs/Resources)
    (pp. 15-32)

    Once the vision statement is constructed, you are ready to address the first accountability question. Answering this question will help you gain a clear understanding of the problem areas or issues in your location/setting and for which group of people (potential target population) the problem is most severe. Additionally, it is important to examine the existing assets and resources in a community to help lessen or protect individuals from risk conditions and/or to prevent the emergence of problem issues. For example, good family management and supervision helps to protect youth from becoming involved in alcohol and drug use. In this...

  8. Chapter Two Question # 2: What Are the Goals, Target Populations, and Objectives (i.e., Desired Outcomes)? (Goals)
    (pp. 33-42)

    To plan its strategies, an organization must first establish goals for moving toward its vision. Goals reflect what impacts you hope to achieve in the future and should focus on behavioral changes. Goal statements provide the overall direction of the program and state what is to be accomplished. They provide the foundation for specific objectives and activities that will ultimately define the program (Virginia Effective Practices Project, 1999). For example, a potential goal statement might be, “To increase the age of first alcohol use in junior high school students from 12 to 14 years of age.”

    Once the goals are...

  9. Chapter Three Question #3: Which Evidence-Based Programs Can Be Used to Reach Your Goal? (Best Practice)
    (pp. 43-56)

    So far, the needs and resources of your target area have been assessed and goals and objectives specified. The time has come to determine what program(s) should be implemented. Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch. In prevention, there is a growing body of literature highlighting what works in prevention in various domains (e.g., individual, family, peer, school, community). Incorporating evidence-based programming is a major step toward demonstrating accountability. We call all the different types of programs that have demonstrated some effectiveness (described below) “best practices.”

    The Institute of Medicine (IOM) classification system that follows may be of interest...

  10. Chapter Four Question #4: What Actions Need to Be Taken So That the Selected Program “Fits” the Community Context? (Fit)
    (pp. 57-62)

    Program fit can be thought of in a variety of ways. In this question, the idea is that there should be an assessment of how the proposed intervention (chosen in the previous chapter) will fit with:

    values and practices of the community

    the characteristics (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, language, rural/urban, level of need, etc.) of the target populations

    the philosophical mission of the host agency or organization

    the culture of the target population, which affects how they can be reached and best served (e.g., poor mothers with several young children at home may not be able to travel to distant...

  11. Chapter Five Question #5: What Organizational Capacities Are Needed to Implement the Program? (Capacities)
    (pp. 63-78)

    In this question, your organization must determine whether there are sufficient organizational capacities available to successfully implement the identified program.

    Organizational capacity refers to different types of resources an organization has to implement and sustain a prevention program and includes

    human capacities(e.g.staff with appropriate credentials and experience, leaders who understand the program, strong program leadership, strong staff commitment for the program, etc.)

    technical capacities, which include the expertise needed to address all the aspects of program planning, implementation, and evaluation

    fiscalcapacities or the adequate funding to implement the program as planned

    structural/formal linkage capacities,which are the links...

  12. Chapter Six Question #6: What Is the Plan for This Program? (Plan)
    (pp. 79-92)

    It is important to have an ongoing planning document that specifies who will do what, when, and where. Planning issues can be relevant at a larger level (e. g., county plan) and/or at a smaller level (e.g., planning a specific program). This GTO-04 question has tools that can assist practitioners to plan their programs well so that they can be implemented with all of the necessary ingredients for a good program.

    Although planning takes time away from program activities, the tools in this section are designed to assist you to remember all of the necessary details to implement a quality...

  13. Chapter Seven Question #7: How Will the Quality of Program and/or Initiative Implementation Be Assessed? (Process)
    (pp. 93-114)

    How well a program is implemented is critical to obtaining positive results. You developed the program’s plan in the previous question. In this question, the process evaluation will identify how well the plan is put into action.

    A process evaluation assesses what activities were implemented, the quality of the implementation, and the strengths and weaknesses of the implementation. This information can help to strengthen and improve the program as necessary. A well-planned process evaluation is developed prior to beginning a program and continues throughout the duration of the program.

    Generally, the most important process evaluation question is “Was the program...

  14. Chapter Eight Question #8: How Well Did the Program Work? (Outcomes)
    (pp. 115-136)

    An outcome evaluation attempts to document whether or not the program caused an improvement among the participants on certain areas of interest (e.g., drug use, risk and protective factors) and by how much.

    Measuring outcomes provides evidence that your program accomplished its goals. Evaluating the desired outcomes answers important questions such as the following:

    Did the program work? Why? Why not?

    Should we continue the program?

    What can be modified that might make the program more effective?

    What evidence proves that funders should continue to spend their money on this program?

    There are several steps that need to be taken...

  15. Chapter Nine Question #9: How Will Continuous Quality Improvement Strategies Be Incorporated? (CQI)
    (pp. 137-142)

    Continuous quality improvement (CQI) involves the systematic assessment and feedback of evaluation information about planning, implementation, and outcomes to improve programs.

    Many programs are repeated over time. Given that few, if any, programs achieve perfect outcomes during the initial implementation, what can be done to improve the program’s effectiveness in the future? There is a great opportunity to learn from previous implementation efforts when processes and outcomes of a program are well documented. Continuous quality improvement has gained great popularity in industry and is gaining wide acceptance in health and human service programs. Evaluation conducted in this manner should not...

  16. Chapter Ten Question #10: If the Program Is Successful, How Will It Be Sustained? (Sustain)
    (pp. 143-150)

    Unfortunately, even high quality prevention programs are often not continued beyond their initial funding. This question can help you sustain your program or strategy.

    Sustainability is the continuation of a program a the initial funding has ended. Programs are more likely to survive if they adapt themselves to fit the needs of the environment and the needs of their hos organizations, which is consistent with the GTO-04 process.

    Much of the literature on sustainability has been based on what happens after the initial external (or internal) funding of a program ends. If a program was begun with external funding, what...

  17. References
    (pp. 151-156)