Effective program evaluation is a systematic way to improve and account for public health actions by involving procedures that are useful, feasible, ethical, and accurate. Essentially, evaluation looks at whether or not a specific intervention was effective from several different perspectives. While monitoring creates raw data, evaluation is the analysis of that data. Evaluation differs from quality control and assurance because it is primarily for reporting to others outside the organization, including board members, donors, and funders; while quality control and assurance is for internal use.
Evaluation often looks at process and outcome goals or measures. These are sometimes confusing but in general:
You may remember these from the section on strategic planning because evaluation allows you to look back at your strategic planning to see if you met your goals and objectives.
In thinking about evaluation, it is essential for leaders to begin by asking some of the following:
During our development Harm Reduction Hacks have collected together a large number of resources from around the web you can find these in our resource folder in Google Docs. We are also always looking for more so help us by suggesting any resources we may have missed.
We do not claim that this is an exhaustive set of strategies, shortcuts, or tips for running an SSP. What we do suggest is that Harm Reduction Hacks offers down-to-earth, practical information for being a better leader, starting and running an SSP, and providing syringe access services. We feel we can say this with confidence because the Hacks are based on interviews with, and the experiences of, literally generations of people who have been doing harm reduction work.
Please note that nothing in this guide should be construed as legal advice. Please consult an attorney local to your area to ensure your program is in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations that apply to your situation.