Is there a causal relationship

Uses of Evaluations Pitfalls; Providing Recommendations, Suggestions, and Options for Improvement; Writing for Impact; Contracting for Services; the Politics of Evaluation; Challenges, Issues, and Trends Chapters 23-28 Pitfalls in Evaluations Credibility Are the evaluation findings and conclusions believable Findings are more likely to be accepted if stakeholders believe the process and data to be legitimate and recommendations feasible External validity Can the results be generalized to the population, beyond those being studied Internal validity Is there a causal relationship between program and outcome Measurement validity Accurately measuring what is intended to be measured Specific criteria for operationalizing concepts Reliability Measures consistently measure intended target behaviors Measure procedures consistently record data Statistical conclusion validity Do the numbers accurately estimate the size of the relationship between variables or the effect size Are numbers generated with appropriate statistical techniques Recommendations and Suggestions Recommendations Could be seen as authoritative, compulsory, imposing Often in Compliance reviews where mandated Common recommendations mistakes Recommending actions outside the authority of entity Recommending actions that are too expensive Make a single recommendation when more options are available Suggestions Less defensive, helpful Writing for Impact The mom test In one or two sentences explain the results of your evaluation so that everyone can understand Police offices on the beat in a community make a big difference. Now is not the time to cut funding. Thought leaders Movers and shakers Report will not have impact unless it impresses the thought leaders The killer paragraph If this is the only thing read in the report it must convey the results bottom line here is what we found! Report enhancements Use: Outline, bold text, type size, lists Dont use: excess text, footnotes, all caps, abbreviations, italics Power writing Easy to understand, emphatic, gets to the point Express principle thought of paragraph in first sentence Small paragraphs, short sentences No technical jargon, active voice only Contracting for Evaluations Concept plan Internal document to determine the scope of the evaluation, get budgetary approval, determine timeline for deliverables Request for proposal (RFP) Include overarching evaluation questions, needed methodological rigor and staff qualifications Statement of work The core, technical section of an RFP Evaluation purpose, the deliverables and delivery schedule No more than 6-8 tasks Progress reports Evaluation in Government Is Used To Increase Transparency Strengthen Accountability Improve Program performance Considerations Agency management systems Typically focus on process, not results Should be focuses on program goals Incentives, penalties, incentive systems Considerations Key indicators Benchmarks Florida Benchmark Consortium http://www.flbenchmark.org Performance Partnership Two or more agencies agree to take joint accountability for achieving specific outcomes Agree to allocate resources Agree to produce certain outputs Evaluation Challenges, Issues, and Trends Challenges and Issues Quality of Evaluation Process Trained Evaluators Ethical Evaluations Informed consent From report to impact to change Trends Evidence based practice Use of technology Resources American Evaluation Association (AEA) Guiding Principles for Evaluators http://www.eval.org/p/cm/ld/fid=51 Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation http://www.jcsee.org/program-evaluation-standards Joint Committee Standards: feasibility, accuracy, utility, and propriety standards http://www.jcsee.org/program-evaluation-standardsstatements Thats All Folks!

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