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Rural Health Information Hub

Evaluation Designs

When designing your obesity program evaluation, it is important to consider the intervention goals, evaluation purpose, and available resources for evaluation.

Evaluations of rural obesity programs have used experimental, quasi-experimental, and non-experimental designs. Experimental designs are the “gold standard” for assessing cause and effect, but require a high level of time and resources. Quasi-experimental designs are more commonly used for evaluating obesity programs.

Process and Outcome Evaluation

The most common frameworks for evaluating rural obesity programs are process evaluations and outcome evaluations.

  • Process evaluation
    Assesses how the program was implemented and whether it was implemented as intended. Key focus areas may include the quality and effectiveness of the rural obesity program.
  • Outcome evaluation
    Assesses program effects and is used to make recommendations for future program improvements. Key focus areas may include expected and unexpected outcomes and program reach.

For detailed information about the evaluation designs and frameworks that can be used for rural obesity programs, see Evaluation Design in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.

Resources to Learn More

Quasi-Experimental Evaluations: Part 6 in a Series on Practical Evaluation Methods
An overview of quasi-experimental evaluations with an explanation of the various types and descriptions of the circumstances under which type of study is appropriate.
Author(s): Moore, K.
Organization(s): Child Trends
Date: 1/2008