Ongoing Implementation and Impact Monitoring and Evaluation
The only way to know whether programs are truly making a difference for youth, families, schools, and communities is to carefully and systematically evaluate their implementation and impact. This is why developers of the PROSPER Delivery System have included a range of process and outcome monitoring and evaluation activities as a core component of the approach.
Process Evaluation at the Community Level
- Information related to participant recruitment and attendance when programs are offered, including tracking the numbers of participants in both the family and school programs
- Reports from individuals who are trained to do in-person observations of the evidence-based programs being offered by the Community Team to assess quality of implementation
- Reports from Community Team members related to their perceptions of the team’s productivity and how the Team is functioning
- Reports from Prevention Coordinators who are in regular contact with Team Leaders and regularly attend the monthly team meetings
This information is used to create a feedback cycle so that the Prevention Coordinator and State Management Teams can continually and proactively provide tailored technical assistance to each Community Team within their State Partnership. Process evaluation also may include reports from staff in various roles in the organizations supporting the PROSPER effort, but not directly involved in the partnership, in order to assess various aspects of partnership-related organizational change.
Process Evaluation of the Partnership
In order to ensure that the State-level Partnership is working effectively to support Community Teams as they progress toward their implementation goals, there are additional annual reports completed by members of the State Management Team and Prevention Coordinator Team. This information is used by the Network Team to assess how well the overall State-level Partnership is functioning and identifies potential topics for training and technical assistance.
Evaluation of Outcomes for Youth and Families
The specific outcome evaluation activities vary across each PROSPER State Partnership, depending on the nature and requirements of the funding mechanism for each state.
Prevention Scientists from the Network Team work with each State Management Team to develop an outcome evaluation plan. Generally, PROSPER outcomes are evaluated via school-based youth surveys that are administered both before and after programs have been implemented. This information is then summarized in reports provided to Community Teams and their Prevention Coordinators.