Outcome evaluation documents whether what has been done has made a difference. It is conducted to determine any changes that have occurred over the time period from before an intervention is implemented (data collected during the needs assessment) to after implementation and to demonstrate that the changes identified are the result of the intervention itself, not some other factors. Such evaluation allows you to showcase your efforts and bring positive attention to your community. It is also a good way to convince others to get involved.
Measure outcomes that are directly tied to your objectives. You may want to concentrate on outcomes for which records already exist. Data items that have already been collected in the needs assessment should be relatively easy to collect again.
Because resources for evaluation, including time, personnel and budget, might be scarce, it may be sufficient and more feasible to conduct a process rather than an outcome evaluation. Too often, programmes rush to study their impact on youth without fully understanding whether or how well implementation of the interventions occurred. In the field of violence prevention and the promotion of peace, there is a strong need to develop an inventory and disseminate examples and case studies of promising practices to contribute effectively to a global movement for non-violence and a culture of peace.(8)
Although you do not need to be a trained researcher or social scientist to conduct an evaluation of your efforts, it is necessary to have a good understanding of your interventions, including your goals and objectives; a commitment to learning more about the strengths and weaknesses of your efforts and to improving their delivery; and at least one person who is willing to be responsible for the evaluation.(51) It is also a good idea to consult someone from the health department or a local college or university who has experience in programme evaluation.
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