SSP Program Data and Reporting Hacks


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:

  • Outcome measures – describe a program’s results and determine whether the intended outcomes were achieved. Outcome measures track what happened.
  • Process measures – describe a program’s services, activities, policies, and procedures. Process measures look at the processes an organization undertook and the “how and why” of organizational achievements.

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:

  • What will be evaluated? (That is, what is the program and in what context does it exist?)
  • Who is the evaluation for?
  • What aspects of the program will be considered when judging performance?
  • What standards (i.e., type or level of performance) must be reached for the program to be considered successful?
  • What evidence will be used to indicate how the program has performed?
  • What conclusions regarding program performance are justified by comparing the available evidence to the standards selected?
  • How will the lessons learned from the evaluation be used to improve effectiveness?

More Resources

Don’t reinvent the wheel
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.
Suggest a Resource

External Resources

Collected from around the web
There are a number of external resources that contributed to the development of Harm Reduction Hacks. Here are a selection relating to this section:


The hacks on this site are shared with you under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence. This allows you (with attribution) to adapt content for your own use, although we do ask you to then also allow others to have equal access to anything you develop. More details of this licence can be found on the Creative Commons website.


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. 

Harm Reduction Hacks site design and implimentation by Nigel Brunsdon

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.