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Evaluation Considerations

Evaluation requires thoughtful planning and implementation. It is important to develop a plan for evaluation before the diabetes program begins. An evaluation plan will outline a strategy for tracking the program's progress towards achieving its goals — specifying what, how, when, and from whom information will be gathered. An evaluation plan will include the evaluation questions that will be answered and will also describe how evaluation findings will be shared. Some diabetes programs have used the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Framework for Program Evaluation to guide evaluation planning and implementation. For detailed information on developing an evaluation plan, see Evaluation Planning in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.

Engaging stakeholders is an important step in any evaluation. Stakeholders are the people involved or affected by the evaluation and include:

  • Individuals directly served or affected by the diabetes program, including patients and family members
  • Those directly involved in program implementation, including program staff, administrators, volunteers, partners, and community groups
  • Entities who provide financial support to the diabetes program and may have specific requirements for evaluation
  • Universities or independent researchers who may support evaluation efforts or have an interest in evaluation results

Engaging stakeholders will help ensure the evaluation addresses important questions and that the findings from the evaluation will be useful.

Once the evaluation is completed, program leaders should share findings with stakeholders. There are many ways to share evaluation findings, and programs commonly summarize results in an evaluation report. Any evaluation report or product should include results that will be interesting and useful for the identified stakeholder groups. For more information on dissemination strategies for diabetes programs, see Module 7.

Resources to Learn More

The National Diabetes Education Program Evaluation Framework: How to Design an Evaluation of a Multifaceted Public Health Education Program
Describes how the National Diabetes Education Program applied the CDC's Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health to assess key program processes and outcomes of multifaceted health communications programs.
Author(s): Gallivan, J., Greenberg, R., & Brown, C.
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 5(4), A134
Date: 10/2008