Measurement instruments (sometimes called measurement tools) capture information on whether an indicator of an outcome has been achieved and to what degree. Common measurement tools are surveys, charts, interviews, focus groups, and observations. The following resources will help program and agency managers select the most appropriate tools for measuring outcomes.
Best Practices in Behavior Support and Intervention Assessment
Child Welfare League of America (2004)
Describes a self-assessment instrument that is designed to help child welfare agencies improve behavior support and intervention policies, procedures, and practices.
Matrix Outcomes Model
Institute for Community Collaborative Studies, California State University (2004)
Provides a set of complementary assessment, case management, and evaluation tools to measure performance in establishing results accountability.
Choosing Outcome Measures in Systematic Reviews: Critical Challenges
Research on Social Work Practice, 16(1), 2006
Examines the challenge of how to choose outcome measures. Resources are offered to help programs formulate a review problem, gather data about relevant studies and outcomes, analyze data, and interpret results.
Outcome Studies: Is the Intervention Effective?
In Social Work Evaluation: Enhancing What We Do
Offers criteria for choosing outcome measures when conducting social work evaluations. Several outcome designs are introduced for evaluating both program and practice interventions; advantages and limitations of each design are highlighted.
The Evaluation Data Coordination Project: Common Constructs and Measures Across Nine ACF Studies and Other Key Data Collection Efforts (PDF - 4160 KB)
Evaluation Data Coordination Project, American Institutes for Research, & Child Trends (2004)
Describes an approach, which could be used to evaluate child welfare programs, that addresses income and earnings, quality of child care, parental monitoring and awareness, and child internalizing/externalizing behavior problems. The report summarizes the evaluation methodology for each project, all funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, including Building Strong Families, the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey, the National Head Start Impact Study, and the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being.