Assessment is gathering information that will help to establish baseline data and is used to document “why” a certain project or program was selected. Evaluation is a way of validating a project. It is an important tool to determine the success of the project and to improve its quality.
One of the keys to effective assessment and evaluation is to start planning at the beginning of the project. A project should start with a needs assessment, followed by the program and planned evaluation. Evaluation results should be analyzed to facilitate program improvements.
The three most common evaluation methods are summarized below. More information is available in the listed references.
This looks at what we are doing and how it is going. It is a description of what we did and how it went. It reviews the effort that went into the project – who, what, where, when and how of the project. An example of process evaluation for a newly formed coalition might include minutes of meetings, meeting attendees, budget information and future plans.
This method evaluates the results or effectiveness of the program. An alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) project might look at an increase of knowledge and/or attendance, changes in attitude, activities, or referrals. Outcome evaluations must be tied in with the stated program goals and objectives.
This type of evaluation is concerned with the ultimate effects desired by the program/project. It is long range and normally extends beyond the end of a defined project period. For example, a campus alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) effort might look at issues such as an increase of non-users or decrease in alcohol violations and campus crime.
The PLCB recognizes the importance of evaluating its programs and is currently using several different tools, as well as developing new evaluation tools for certain programs. Samples of needs assessments and evaluation tools that the PLCB has used for the following programs can be found on the CD-ROM accompanying this booklet. (See CD-ROM – Appendix T)
The L.C. Bee Program is presented to young school children, Kindergarten through 3rd grade. A speaker evaluation is given to each school to complete.
The Responsible Alcohol Management Program (RAMP) utilizes a pre- and post-test for licensees that demonstrates what has been learned during the session.
The Cops in Shops® program utilizes several assessment tools. Pre- and post- questionnaires are given to local law enforcement, licensees and youth in each community participating in the program. In addition, each law enforcement officer completes a report.
The Sticker Shock program utilizes a questionnaire by licensees and local community program coordinators.
The PLCB college programs include numerous mini-grants as well as partnerships with colleges and universities. Evaluations from these programs are included on the CD-ROM – Appendix T.
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