Program Planning & Evaluation

Program Planning & Evaluation

Many agencies are limited in their capacity to do both program development and particularly program evaluation. Yet, an ongoing systematic review of programs and services is important to ensure that the organization provides the best possible services to their clients in a cost effective manner.  

All organizations need to plan for successful programs to best serve their clientele. In planning a practice the organization should be able to articulate what problem they are trying to solve and why they are using a particular approach over any other method. According to the CHRN’s Promising Practices document ‘What Works and for Whom? Part 2 – A Framework for Designing and Implementing Promising Practices Research’, “A promising practice should be able to demonstrate both the evidence that makes the case for this practice and how the research supports this course of action over another.” 

Program evaluation includes collecting and analyzing key information and data in order to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of a particular program. Conducting an evaluation is a key step in determining what works and doesn’t work and how to make changes to improve efficiency, relevancy and overall service delivery. Program evaluations should include qualitative and quantitative data that shows how the organization or program’s goals have been met. Ideally, they should include baseline data that can be used as a gauge to compare outcomes. Evaluation should include input from service users to ensure that the success or barriers of a program are clearly understood.