A significant part of determining the health of a program is program evaluation. Program evaluation is a continuous data collection process of providing organizations and programs with adequate knowledge to make abundant and organizational choices. Program evaluation could be used as a comparative tool to review the progress of an accredited institution or another individual, whether positively or negatively. At the end of each day, welfare policies must illustrate that they may have defined particular objectives that conform to legislative results. Evaluations based on standards and procedures are a vital element. When a project is launched, its core mission should highlight what it aims to achieve, and a government-financed program is set to meet or at least try to fulfill this objective. “Public social service and health care agencies are held responsible for satisfying a wide range of external standards set by professional groups. Accreditation is the most important goal for these proposals to accomplish. Accreditation involves all of the regulations to be followed to sustain it. Although programs can be accredited but perform multiple types of operations, they should be bound by the same rules so that involved parties can be optimistic that their money invested in the initiative was valuable.
Types of program evaluation
The Riverbend City scenario presented three types of process evaluation; standards-based program evaluation, outcomes-based program evaluation, and process-based program evaluation.
The term “standards” is used in a standards-based assessment to refer to various criteria of the institution’s operation that could be evaluated. This appraisal, for example, offers evaluators with quantitative data that could be used to examine the institution. Every program has varying standards and how assessors use the assessment depends on what those standards are. Standards are created for a system to be certified. Accreditation affirms that a program has proved compliance with assessment criteria. An accreditation evaluation was performed in the Riverbend City scenario to ascertain whether the Ruby Lake Initiative met the accreditation requirements. Leadership, measuring effectiveness, finances, and fundraising abilities were all investigated during the accreditation evaluation. According to the data provided in the application overview, Ruby Lake Initiative appears to meet standards for continued accreditation. The requirements generally covered by standards include the sufficiency of activities to endorse the organization’s clientele and their effect on the issue at hand. The Ruby Lake initiative appears to be satisfying the defined guidelines.
Outcomes-based evaluation is a summative assessment that evaluates a project’s or organization’s output data. Strategies for assessing outcomes are associated with determining the plan or organization’s outcomes. In the Riverbend City Scenario, the outcome-based evaluation would measure the effects of programs within the Ruby Lake Initiative. To sustain their outcome evaluations, the results evaluated in the scenario use generic indicators. According to Sylvia and Sylvia (2012), a generic indicator is an information that the program collects daily. Each initiative that employs outcome assessments has goals that are assessed by benchmark and output data points. Outcome evaluation is crucial to the continued operations of the organization or initiative. The purpose of outcome-based assessment is to answer the following question. Did the tasks carried out result in the output(s) desired by your individuals and community? The Ruby lake initiative appears to have performed or provided the needs necessary to meet the objectives.
Process-based evaluation enables an organization or program to evaluate how it manages itself, its procedures, welfare programs such as communication systems and marketing, and even finance development to accomplish the results that everybody necessitates. In the Riverbend City scenario, a process evaluation was used to address program improvements based on qualitative and quantitative data. The Four Phases of method intervention/evaluation must be used in any process intervention or assessment to include the first phases of problem recognition, the second stage of solution development, the third stage of execution, and the fourth step of response appraisal (Sylvia & Sylvia, 2012). Questionnaires, focus groups, and ethnographic interviews to gather information for the assessment by the Ruby Lake Initiative. An evaluation process focuses on the types and quantities of services offered, the recipients of those solutions, the tools used to provide the services, the practical issues experienced, and how these problems were acknowledged, in addition to what approach-based evaluation involves.
Program Assessment Using the Three Types of Program Evaluation
Based on the documentation and reports provided, the initiatives are still in operation and are operating at full capacity. Continuous education programs are usually well-supported by decision-makers and program leaders (Sylvia & Sylvia, 2012). The program leaders play a critical role and undertaking surveys to assess the organization’s health. The stakeholders and leaders who drive the program forward are the target demographic for this assessment. Ruby Lake programs involve stakeholders and leaders. By involving staff in the formulation and construction of a program evaluation, the assessor may enhance employee cooperation in reviewing and evaluating the outcomes. If workers are encouraged by engagement, they will unquestionably implement programs based on assessment results, even if they are incredibly critical.
The design measures appear to be suitable for the project’s needs. The project focused on the admissions process and the outcomes of some of their programs. The concept is set up to assist in decision-making purposes. Decision-makers might want to understand if the initiative is being run as effectively as possible and if plan officials follow various regulations. An outcome assessment was carried out, which offered benchmarks and results for different programs operated under the Ruby Lake initiative. The evaluations’ impact is summed up using generic metrics. The evaluation’s goal would be to ensure that the initiatives are operating in line with the norms established by the stakeholders. Some evaluations are carried out to check a conformance box for an overhead organization or a legislative branch. Others are seeking information on how the plan needs to be compared to similar systems.
Ethical issues that arise in program evaluation
Ethical concerns must be considered in designing the assessment plan. It is also essential to ensure that ethical limits are not crossed. One might think that an evaluator’s thinking would be centered on honesty and integrity during the assessment process. Moreover, there should be respect for people and a focus on full consent. In this case, two human service standards come to mind: standard two and standard 18. “Human service professionals obtain consent to provide services to individuals at the start of the supportive relationship.” Individuals should be informed that they have the option to revoke informed consent unless otherwise ordered by the court of law and that they should be able to ask questions before consenting to the services. Individuals who cannot give consent must have those legally permitted to do so evaluate an informed consent declaration and provide appropriate permission.
Clients that are unable to approve should have those legally allowed to permission on their behalf review a written consent declaration and provide suitable consent.” People aligning to partake in such assessments must first give informed consent to an assessor. If it is not done, informed consent becomes a dangerous path, raising moral considerations. Based on Standard 18, human service professionals precisely examine the effectiveness of rehabilitation services, initiatives, and therapies, and methodologies, backed up by evidence whenever feasible. One might presume that this means that a human service professional conducting an assessment must base their decisions or evaluation of a program on data-supported documentation (Burger, 2018). The evaluator’s assessment must not be based on personal beliefs. Standard 7 states, in support of the preceding statement, that “human service professionals guarantee that their values or prejudices are not imposed upon their service users.
Critiquing the Program’s Effectiveness
Recognizing the distinctiveness of an institution’s context and targets enables leaders to assess specific stakeholders and comprehend their significance to the organizational objective. The use of relevant parties throughout the assessment process can be advantageous if done correctly. According to the standard-based evaluation, there was not much stakeholder exercise leveraged during this assessment. This assessment presented an overview of the substantiation used to sustain accreditation. If stakeholder input was obtained, it was not recognized in the yearly accreditation evaluation.
Some stakeholder data seemed to contribute to the results of the outcome-based evaluation. The data points for this review were collected from a reporting system in place by the initiative. After receiving permission, qualitative and quantitative data were gathered from personnel files. The information provides a clear description of what and who was obtaining a service. The evaluation provided participants’ demographic and socio-economic profiles. The process-based evaluation appeared to use the most input from stakeholders of any appraisal. According to Ackermann and Eden (2011), interested parties who take up various positions on the grid (for instance, as both a partner and a rival) may perceive some of the organization’s strategies favorably and others negatively: obviously, their management must be meticulously orchestrated.
The organization solicited feedback from the mayor, community activist, police department, store owner, and superintendent of the Riverbend City Public School District during the evaluation process. The data was gathered through a survey and gathered to obtain precise research results. It is essential to gain input from all stakeholders to determine problematic areas if any arise. Everyone’s information helps in resolving issues. Indeed, when interested parties react to a particular organizational intervention, they do so regarding other stakeholders and the focal institution. One stakeholder’s acts can evoke a dynamic response from a wide range of other relevant parties.
Program evaluation is crucial in understanding whether or not an initiative is fully operational and functioning. A program assessment process is also in place to ensure that nonprofit groups follow program guidelines and practices. The standard base, outcome-based, and process-based assessments are the three program assessments that ascertain whether an initiative has a solid governing solid basis. They are the glue that keeps a program together and guarantees that it is certified, sponsored, and running at full capacity to serve needy people. Differing ethical standards is one of the most common pitfalls of assessments, and it is the evaluators and those being evaluated to ensure this will not happen. Interested parties on all sides should take an objective view of the assessment, even though it may affect them. By maximizing the assessment results, they can only make the project better for themselves and the individuals that utilize it.
Ackermann, F., & Eden, C. (2011). Strategic management of stakeholders: Theory and practice. Long Range Planning, 44(3), 179-196. doi:10.1016/j.lrp.2010.08.001
Burger, W. R. (2018). Human Services in Contemporary America, 10th Edition. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781337469319
Sylvia, R.D. & Sylvia, K.M. (2012). Program planning and evaluation for the public manager. 4 th edition. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc