May 21, 2007 - 4:34pm

A few weeks ago I wrote about evaluating programs designed to solve problems. In the blog I discussed logic models and how they can be used to understand a program, its activities and intended outcomes. Shortly after writing the blog, the U.S. congress began exploring how to define outcomes for the war in Iraq.

May 16, 2007 - 4:12pm
Our organizations, programs and services do not thrive in a vacuum; most collaborate with, or serve, other people and organizations. These other stakeholders can include clients, patients, board members, member organizations, or programs and organizations that contribute to the delivery of our goals. When conducting research or evaluation to inform decision-making, organization staff input is very valuable, but does not represent the whole picture; often, community stakeholders can give powerful insights on an organization’s effectiveness.
May 3, 2007 - 9:14am
When reading the newspaper or browsing the internet I tend to be drawn to articles in which someone is developing a solution to a widespread (or at least widely talked about) problem.
May 1, 2007 - 9:28am
interview1.bmp The Improve Group has conducted interviews with a wonderful variety of people for a great variety of disciplines. Interviewees (also referred to as: discussants, informants, subjects, participants or conversational partners) add critical and valuable perspectives about programs. Like focus groups, interviews contribute to a more in-depth, comprehensive understanding of the issue at hand.
April 2, 2007 - 3:24pm
MCj02975650000[1].jpg The Improve Group has conducted focus groups for clients from a great variety of disciplines. Focus groups are a good way for researchers to learn about the human experience. So, the Improve Group calls you to participate in a focus group – what exactly are you getting yourself into? What is a Focus Group?
March 29, 2007 - 3:32pm
An article I read in the NY Times about the federally funded Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD) stated that keeping a preschooler in child day care a year or more increased the chances that the child would become more disruptive in class. I found even more interesting the study’s finding that this result held up regardless of the child’s sex or family income, and regardless of the quality of the day care center.
March 21, 2007 - 10:10am
Our current evaluation of Performing Arts Workshop's Artists-in-Schools program involves researching how the effects of the program differ for students in general and special education. A concern of ours is how to conduct our research in a way that identifies and accommodates the needs of students in special education without adding to the stigma of being in special education.
March 20, 2007 - 2:41pm
risks.bmp When conducting an evaluation, we are required to minimize the risks to participants; however we sometimes struggle to identify what those risks may be and how they relate to any potential benefits. Particularly when the study involves issues like the arts, academic achievement or interest in extra-curricular activities, the risks may seem very remote or negligible.
February 27, 2007 - 1:11pm
We thought we’d share news about an interesting analysis method we recently used…