The steps for process evaluation outlined by Bliss and Emshoff (2002) may seem very similar to those for conducting other types of evaluation that you have learned about in this course; in fact, it is the purpose and timing of a process evaluation that most distinguish it from other types of evaluation. A process evaluation is conducted during the implementation of the program to evaluate whether the program has been implemented as intended and how the delivery of a program can be improved. A process evaluation can also be useful in supporting an outcome evaluation by helping to determine the reason behind program outcomes.
There are several reasons for conducting process evaluation throughout the implementation of a program. Chief among them is to compare the program that is being delivered to the original program plan, in order to identify gaps and make improvements. Therefore, documentation from the planning stage may prove useful when planning a process evaluation.
For this Assignment, you either build on the work that you completed in Weeks 6, 7, and 8 related to a support group for caregivers, or on your knowledge about a program with which you are familiar. Review the resource “Workbook for Designing a Process Evaluation”.
By Day 7
Submit a 4- to 5-page plan for a process evaluation. Include the following minimal information:
- A description of the key program elements
- A description of the strategies that the program uses to produce change
- A description of the needs of the target population
- An explanation of why a process evaluation is important for the program
- A plan for building relationships with the staff and management
- Broad questions to be answered by the process evaluation
- Specific questions to be answered by the process evaluation
- A plan for gathering and analyzing the information