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Program Evaluation: Lessons Learned
The following resources provide findings from program evaluation efforts and describe lessons learned that can be helpful in addressing program accountability and practice improvement challenges.
Discretionary Grants Library
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau
Provides access to information about Children's Bureau Discretionary Grant awards and the innovative child welfare projects funded by these awards. The library contains a number of materials such as syntheses of grant clusters' activities, outcomes, challenges, keys to success, and lessons learned.
Program Evaluation: Lessons From the Field (PDF - 2340 KB)
Bergel & McFarland
The New Social Worker, 16(3), 2009
Explains how program evaluation can be done in-house.
Reflecting on the Past and Future of Evaluation (PDF - 192 KB)
Harvard Family Research Project (2004)
Identifies emerging strategies in evaluating child and family services, reviews best practices in evaluation, and identifies continuing challenges. The article includes a series of reflections by experts on what the past decade has meant for evaluation.
A National Survey of Title IV-E Evaluations: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for the Future
Chavkin & Feyl Lee
Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education 10(2), 2007
Presents results of a national survey of how 46 Title IV-E training programs are evaluating the components of their continuing education programs. Results and recommendations can be used to form evaluation strategies for both accountability and practice improvement.
Building Evaluation Capacity in Community-Based Organizations: Reflections of an Empowerment Evaluation Team
Andrews, Motes, Floyd, Flerx, & Lopez-De Fede
Journal of Community Practice, 13(4), 2006
Presents challenges and successes of a university-based evaluation team as it promoted organizational self-evaluation skills in a large community capacity building effort. The article describes the team's approach to empowerment evaluation, including lessons learned.
Elements to Build Capacity for Evaluation and Accountability: Discussion Guide (PDF - 92 KB)
National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center (2005)
Identifies six elements for building capacity for evaluation and accountability. Questions to prompt discussion and reflection among stakeholders are followed by strategies that address each element.
Lessons Learned From the Supporting Father Involvement Study: A Cross-Cultural Preventive Intervention for Low-Income Families With Young Children
Pruett, Cowan, Cowan, & Pruett
Journal of Social Service Research, 35(2), 2009
Examines lessons learned from the first 3 years of California's Supporting Father Involvement study. Communication, training, staffing, recruitment/retention, clinical needs, intervention content and process, and cultural sensitivity are explored from the evaluator and program staff perspectives.
Promising Practices for Improving the Capacity of Faith- and Community-Based Organizations (PDF - 360 KB)
Fink & Branch (2005)
Documents the range of services that intermediaries provide to their constituent organizations and highlights promising practices. The paper shows the importance of promising practices in producing successful outcomes for organizations of faith-based and community organizations and outlines programs that show promise of replication.
The Children's Bureau Quality Improvement Centers: Knowledge Development Through Research Collaborations in Child Welfare
Hafford, Brodowski, Nolan, & Denniston
Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, 9(2), 2006
Summarizes findings from an interim national evaluation of four quality improvement centers that focus on best practices and lessons learned in this child protective services practice model.
"What Works" in Fatherhood Programs?: Ten Lessons from Evidence-based Practice
Bronte-Tinkew, Horowitz, & Metz
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse Practice Briefs: Part 1, 2008
Identifies 10 common features of "model" fatherhood programs.