While evaluation is situated as the last step in the SPF process, in reality it is an integral part of the entire SPF structure. Evaluation is a powerful strategy for investigating how programs and interventions are doing in terms of whether they are making the impacts they intend, as well as a useful tool for suggesting how programs can continue to grow and improve in the future. These two questions are at the heart of what a community really needs to know about its prevention programs:
- Are they working?
- Can they work better?
Sometimes evaluation can seem threatening or intimidating, like having to pass an exam or test. However, it is more useful to think about evaluation as a wonderful tool to help organizations and communities better reach their goals. In order to know if our programs are doing what we want them to do, we need to collect information, track changes, and consider outcomes. However, rather than being seen as issuing a pass or fail verdict for programs, if done well, the evaluation process can be used at every step of a prevention plan to see if the plan is on target and to suggest new ideas and avenues for continuous improvement and progress.
- Things to Consider for Evaluation
- Process Evaluation
- Summative Evaluation
- Checklist for Working with Evaluators
- Goodman, R. (1998). Principles and tools for evaluating community-based prevention and health promotion programs. Journal of Public Health Management Practice, 4(2), 37-47.
- Kay, E.J. (1994). Health Promotion: the problems of measurement and evaluation. Journal of institutional health education, 32(1), 13-15.
- Nutbean, Don. 1998. “Evaluating health promotion – progress, problems, and solutions.” Health promotion international 13(1):27-44.
- SAMHSA. (2019, June 20). A Guide to SAMSHA’s Strategic Prevention Framework. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/20190620-samhsa-strategic-prevention-framework-guide.pdf
- Springett, Jane. 2001. “Appropriate approaches to the evaluation of health promotion.” Critical public health 11(2): 139-151.