It is important to consider how the data and evidence collected will be used in program evaluation to measure changes. Different types of data are used to address process and outcome measures. Below are examples of process and outcome measures that can guide the evaluation data that will be collected:
Process: Process evaluation assesses how a program is developed and implemented,
and may investigate a program’s operations, structure, and operations. Questions may include:
- How is the program being implemented?
- Under what conditions does the program work?
- Is the target population participating at expected levels?
- Can the program be replicated?
Outcome: Outcome evaluations are a type of summative study that investigate whether changes
occur in a particular program, and, if they do, the extent to which changes can be attributed to the
program. Questions may include:
- What is the impact of the program?
- To what extent is the program meeting its intended goals and objectives?
Because the evaluation measures change, data should be collected over time. There are different kinds of changes that can be tracked:
- Affective change: Change in attitudes or feelings toward specific behavior.
- Behavior change: Adoption of new behaviors.
- Learning change: New knowledge and awareness is acquired.
- Environmental conditions: Reduced barriers to healthier choices and lifestyles, e.g., smoke-free policies.
- Status change: Improved health outcomes or indicators.