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This brief offers lessons and best practices from foundations across the country on grantmaking to school districts. It offers advice to foundations that are considering school district investments for the first time. It also offers a useful "check" to more experienced foundations that want to examine their thinking and approaches against the lessons and practices of other foundations.
This issue of The Evaluation Exchange explores the promising practices and challenges associated with taking an enterprise to scale, along with the role that evaluation can and should play in that process. It is the second in our “hard-to-measure” series, which we inaugurated with our Spring 2007 issue on evaluating advocacy.
How to Develop a Logic Model for Districtwide Family Engagement Strategies, a tool from Harvard Family Research Project, guides school districts to create a logic model that can aid in planning, implementing, assessing, and communicating about their systemic family engagement efforts.
A User's Guide to Advocacy Evaluation Planning was developed for advocates, evaluators, and funders who want guidance on how to evaluate advocacy and policy change efforts. This tool takes users through four basic steps that generate the core elements of an advocacy evaluation plan, including what will be measured and how.
This Snapshot describes instruments used by current out-of-school time programs to evaluate their implementation and outcomes.
This Snapshot reviews small-scale experimental evaluations of after school programs, highlighting these studies' evaluation strategies and results.
The purpose of this class is to provide professional skills that will help students to select, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of evidence-based family strengthening interventions. Students will increase their knowledge, skills, and expertise in the most up-to-date information on effective family strengthening interventions in their area of primary interest.
This Snapshot reviews the role of technology in OST programs, highlighting the evaluation methods and findings about implementation and youth outcomes.
This summit, made possible through a grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, brought together after school staff, administrators, researchers, and funders to discuss how quality assessment looks and feels different for after school programs that serve middle school youth.
This issue of The Evaluation Exchange periodical focuses on democratic evaluation. At the forefront of the discussion are equity and inclusion in the evaluation of programs for children, families, and communities, as well as evaluation to promote public accountability and transparency. Katherine Ryan leads off the issue by presenting major theoretical approaches to democratic evaluation. Several contributors examine these different strands, highlighting the importance of power sharing. Jennifer Greene emphasizes the importance of broad inclusion of stakeholder perspectives in evaluations, while Saville Kushner offers guidelines for people and communities to help evaluation reposition itself as a collaborative effort and thereby begin to address the crisis in public trust between the professional bureaucracy and citizens. Kathleen McCartney and Heather Weiss focus on public accountability, especially the conduct of flagship evaluations to maintain their scientific integrity while also serving the public good. Several contributors provide practical methods and tools to promote democratic evaluation, including the facilitation of dialogue, the training of youth researchers, the use of photovoice and cell phone technology, and access to interactive information through the Internet.
This issue of The Evaluation Exchange periodical focuses on evaluation methodology, covering topics in contemporary evaluation thinking, techniques, and tools. Mel Mark, president-elect of the American Evaluation Association, kicks off the issue with a discussion about the role that evaluation theory plays in our methodological choices. Other voices in the issue include Georgia State University evaluator Gary Henry, who makes the case for a paradigm shift in how we think about evaluation use and influence, and Robert Boruch, a Campbell Collaboration founder, who discusses the role of randomized trials in defining “what works.” Other contributors to the issue respond to various “how to” questions, such as how to foster strategic learning, how to find tools that assess nonprofit organizational capacity, how to select and use various outcome models, how to increase the number of evaluators of color, how to enhance multicultural competency in evaluation, and how to measure what we value so others value what we measure. Finally, the issue explores theory of change, cluster evaluation, and retrospective pretests—methodological approaches currently generating much interest and dialogue.
Priscilla Little presented the workshop Learning What Works: An Evaluation Overview, providing an overview of what we know about after school evaluation. It examines how programs are collecting meaningful data for accountability and program improvement and what they are finding.
This issue of The Evaluation Exchange brings together the current knowledge base of programs in family support and family involvement, providing a continuous perspective on family processes with regard to children's learning and development, from a child's early years through adolescence. Articles address the challenges of evaluating family programs, such as the need for conceptual clarity, methodological rigor, accountability, and contextual responsiveness. Rounding out the issue are examples of ongoing evaluations of parent leadership and organizing to ensure that schools serve all children at high standards.
Book chapter on using mixed methodology in the social sciences. In B. Somekh & C. Lewin (Eds.), Research methods in the social sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
This issue of The Evaluation Exchange explores the contribution of technology to evaluation practice, with articles centering on four key areas in which evaluators are using technology: data collection and analysis, collaboration, knowledge mobilization, and evaluation capacity building. Rounding out the issue is a special feature on the role technology plays in fostering youth civic engagement and in evaluating programs for youth.
This Snapshot describes the common data collection methods used by current out-of-school time programs to evaluate their implementation and outcomes.
This workshop, Redefining After School Programs to Support Student Achievement, provides an overview of current evaluation research, describes elements of effective after school programs, and discusses a theory of change approach to designing and implementing effective after school programs.
This Snapshot provides an overview of how researchers are evaluating out-of-school time programs’ engagement with families.
This Snapshot outlines the academic, youth development, and prevention performance measures currently being used by out-of-school time programs to assess their progress, and the corresponding data sources for these measures.
This tenth-year-anniversary-issue of The Evaluation Exchange features reflections on some of the trends (both good and bad) that have occurred in the evaluation field over the past decade. Authors consider the “best of the worst”evaluator practices, changes in university-based evaluation training, and the development of evaluation as a discipline. In recognition of the need to look ahead, other articles introduce themes we will address in greater depth in the future, such as international evaluation, technology, evaluation of the arts, and diversity.
Many lessons have been learned during the past decade of community building; this issue of The Evaluation Exchange explores many of these lessons and their implications. Articles by experienced and insightful authors discuss a number of critical issues now surfacing in this field, including innovations in community-building evaluation, the role of cultural competency in community-based research and evaluation, and how evaluators and funders can better build on the evaluation and learning approaches that community-based organizations already use to improve their work.
This Snapshot examines the range and scope of activities being implemented in current out-of-school time programs to set a context for understanding the links between program activities and positive outcomes for youth.
This paper examines how communication campaigns with different purposes (individual behavior change and policy change) have been evaluated. It offers a discussion of theories of change that can guide evaluation planning, along with five case studies of completed campaign evaluations. Each case study includes lessons from the evaluation and the paper finishes with a set of cross-case-study lessons gleaned from these evaluations and others.
This brief offers expert commentary on the implications of the first-year report of the national evaluation of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program for future evaluation and research. It includes a methodological critique of that study, written by Deborah Vandell.
This resource provides definitions of evaluation terminology frequently used in the out-of-school time field. It also provides answers to frequently asked evaluation questions.