Choosing My Own Evaluation Adventure- Developing a Plan

Assignment number 2 of my Program Evaluation class has me digging into a given program and choosing a model that I feel is appropriate to evaluate the program.  The program we have been provided with is prenatal exercise program for Aboriginal women.  This program was designed to address the concerns around the high incidence of Gestational Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes among North American’s Aboriginal population.  This Saskatoon based program was initiated around an inquiry into whether physical activity among Aboriginal women during their childbearing years could play a major role in optimizing healthy pregnancies and in reducing rates of type 2 diabetes in future generations.

CIPP Model
Adapted from Stufflebeam’s CIPP Evaluation Model (1983)

Once again I would suggest that the CIPP Model by Stufflebeam would be an appropriate model for conducting an evaluation on this program.  My recommendation is based partially on the belief that this model would be a good fit and partially because it is one the model we have studied that makes the most sense to me…just being honest.  Stufflebeam’s model is straightforward and focuses evaluators on four core concepts- Context (Goals), Input (Plans), Process (Actions), and Product (Outcomes).  By applying these four concepts to the Aboriginal Prenatal Exercise Program I believe program designers would be able to gain a valuable insight into effectiveness of the program to date and necessary information into how to improve.  In this way the evaluation would be formative in nature.

I believe this model will work in this case for several reasons:

  • Evaluation within each concept will provide information into the effectiveness/ quality of the program goals, plans, actions and outcomes.  This would provide insight into what works and where potential changes need to be made.  
  • Data from each component could be gathered and evaluated.
    • Goals– Program Goals around decreasing Gestational Diabetes among Aboriginal women could be evaluated in comparison to research and similar studies across North America.   Questions around Is the research sound?  Are the connections made valid? Is this inquiry worthy of the time/ resources needed to actualize? could be investigated.
    • Plans– In evaluating the plans laid out by the program evaluators could look for coherence between the objectives of the program and each of the programs components.   The program appears to components around exercise, nutrition, pregnancy, education, and creation of a supportive community seem to be in place.
    • Actions–   Many actions were taken in this program to actualize the plans put in place.  Data from each action taken gathered.  In this component I would look at collecting data from the numerous stakeholders in the program.  In particular data from the program participants would be invaluable.  Questions around Did this program meet your needs?  What did you learn from the program?  What parts of the program were most valuable to you?  What changes would you make? What factors led you to attend or not attend? could be investigated through interviews, surveys, and/or  focus groups.
    • Outcomes– This part of the evaluation would led one to look into the medical data of participants, their children, and non participants as it exists now and into the future.  By looking into this data one could see if the goal of reducing the incidence of Diabetes during pregnancy  into the future and among the offspring of the women is being met.  By studying the health stats of non participants as well, evaluators can see how the results of non participants compare to those of participants.  Much of the data needed to make a summative evaluation would not be available this early into the program however current health data could be used for formative evaluation.
  • Each component would allow for multiple sources of data to be collected and analyzed   In this way the evaluation could be very thorough and comprehensive.  Input from the many stakeholders, and their perspectives should be used to inform this evaluation.  It would be very important to consult with not only the medical personal involved in this program but also the community members whom this program effects.  In particular attention should be given to gather and honor the perspectives of Aboriginal Elders and Knowledge Keepers within each component of the model.

I am sure that if I was to actually conduct this evaluation more questions would emerge and the plan for evaluation would evolve to become more complete and comprehensive.  This assignment has created an opportunity for me to continue my learning with Program Evaluation.  One thing I have learned is that the knowledge of the content is not a prerequisite for beginning an evaluation.  I know very little about diabetes yet by applying the limited information I was given to the CIPP model I was able to “see” a plan for evaluation.  This makes me wonder if a richer knowledge to the content would have led me to a different evaluation plan.


2 thoughts on “Choosing My Own Evaluation Adventure- Developing a Plan”

  1. Hey I finally learned that I had to open the post in a new window to comment on it.

    Very thorough evaluation plan Jenn. You ask many great questions about the process. I enjoyed reading about your revelation regarding content and how sometimes the plan just emerges. You make a good case (and a good plan) for using the CIPP model with this program. Including the stakeholders is a great way to build capacity within an organization and to broaden your data options.

    Well done.


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