Evaluation Data Sources
Successful evaluations rely on the collection of data and the use of reliable analysis methods. Evaluation plans
should illustrate how, where, and from what sources data will be collected. Quantitative (numeric) and
qualitative (narrative or contextual) data should be collected within a framework that aligns with stakeholder
expectations, project timelines, and program objectives. For an overview of different types of data sources, see
Collect and Analyze Quantitative and
Qualitative Data in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.
Services integration programs leaders may use a range of different data sources, including:
Surveys and questionnaires: Surveys and questionnaires use open- and close-ended questions
to gather data from program clients, patients, providers, or stakeholders. Rural services integration
programs are conducting regular surveys with families receiving services and other key stakeholders and
partner organizations. Some programs are also conducting satisfaction surveys with patients as well as
referring agencies to evaluate the value of the program.
Focus groups and interviews: Focus groups and interviews collect information around
specific themes or issues related to the evaluation. Focus groups also allow for collecting observational
information. Rural services integration programs are conducting focus groups with members of the public to
determine if there are additional services or needs in the community that should be considered by the
Observations: Gathers direct information about ongoing program events or stakeholder
behaviors using standardized procedures. Provides specific information about the fit of the program for
clients, patients, and stakeholders.
Documents: Program leaders may review a range of program documents such as outreach logs,
electronic health record data, administrative data, and other information to assess and understand the
program's processes and outcomes.