Evaluate processes and outcomes, share progress, survey participants and learn from feedback
How will you assess the quality of your efforts? Put some easily obtained metrics into your program before it is launched so you can conduct both a process and outcome evaluation. This will allow you to effectively monitor the program while it is running.
Evaluating processes and outcomes
Some things you can track in a process evaluation include Reach, e.g., the number of trainings conducted, the number of people attending trainings, User Satisfaction and Staff perceptions. The process evaluation tells you where you need to make midcourse corrections and will be useful to you as you try to understand the results of your work. Methods to use include participant attendance logs, satisfaction surveys, one-on-one interviews and focus groups.
An outcome evaluation asks how well did your program achieve the results you intended, such as improved knowledge or changes in behaviors. While there are many types of evaluations designs, the easiest is a participant questionnaire before a program begins and afterwards—a “pre/post” evaluation. Surveying participants afterwards is easier to do of course but is a weaker type of assessment since you can never know how much outcomes were there before you started or are a result of your program. It may be useful to consult with a program evaluator early in the program design so you can put these measures into place early.
Get feedback using the partner survey tool. Share the results with your partners and use it as an opportunity to course correct as needed. Building your coalition is itself an achievement. Track the size and composition of your coalition at the start of your work and one year later to show the results.
Since improved organizational ties, community self sufficiency, education and engagement are all critical to resilience then testing to see if they have improved is a logical way to see if you have improved your resilience. Conduct a table-top exercise with your coalition early in your program and then a year later. Using the tabletop exercise tool you can see where you have improved and where you need more work.
Sharing progress and learning from feedback
Present what you have accomplished to the community. Highlight how the program is impacting the community with a combination of both data driven results and stories. This can be done in large or small community forums. Also share your results with key stakeholders such as you department and local politicians. The feedback you receive will go a long way to improving your work.