We focus on that which we measure. In a comprehensive program, it is important to decide early on what your goals and objectives are, and to build a timeline for achieving them. We set goals to steer our long term direction, and objectives as short term measurable outcomes that move us closer to our goals.
The importance of considering evaluation early in a program can not be overstated. If you complete a two year program towards an organizational goal of reducing disease risk but don’t measure anything until after completion of the program, you limit your ability to pivot during your program. At best, you will learn afterwards whether or not a program was effective. By then it might be too late.
If you want to see change, you must start measuring what you wish to change now. You should also consider implementing process evaluation plans so that if there are any unintended effects during implementation you can account for them. Finally, programs should be formally evaluated at least periodically to determine if they are still serving their purpose.
If you need help planning your program’s evaluation, reach out with the contact form below.