Prevention and family support programs are increasingly required to report the outcomes of their services to Federal, state and municipal funding agencies as well as private foundations and corporations. Accountability requirements and funding decisions are tied more closely to the ability of local programs to demonstrate positive outcomes. The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) is an example of how the Federal government is using a common approach to measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of all government programs. OMB states that the PART “helps inform budget decisions and identify actions to improve results.” (For more information on PART, visit our PART page.) When programs offer convincing evidence that their work makes important differences, they are more likely to receive continued funding.
Evaluating prevention programs is not an easy task, but it is possible, and important. It requires an investment of leadership, time, energy, effort and funding. But evaluation is something prevention programs can no longer afford to avoid. Funding agents demand – and children, families and communities deserve – this investment. Evaluation is simply good practice.
What else should I know about evaluation?
To learn more about developing your evaluation plan, please see these pages on our site.