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Rural Health Information Hub

Project Evaluation: Where to Start

There are several important considerations to consider when evaluating rural mental health programs. The first step that is often used when evaluating a rural mental health program is to create a logic model, which is:

“…a graphical depiction of the relationship between program inputs, activities, and outcomes.”

When developing a logic model, start with determining the program's needs, goals, and objectives. Steps for developing a logic model include:

  • Describing the program and the problem that the program will address
  • Defining program goals
  • Specifying program objectives
  • Outlining program activities
  • Identifying individuals involved in the program
  • Selecting process and outcome measures for evaluation

Crafting a logic model is especially important for rural areas because they may face specific challenges, such as limited resources and stigma around mental health conditions. Rural communities also face limited access to resources including transportation and healthcare providers. These are important factors to consider when evaluating the effectiveness of a program.

Resources to Learn More

Evaluation Approaches for Mental Health Prevention and Early Intervention Programs
Provides information on creating a logic model in order to create an evaluation plan.
Author(s): Eberhart, N.K., Cerully, J.L., Shearer, A.L. et al.
Organization(s): RAND Corporation, California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA)
Date: 2017