The document highlights the differing views held about the evaluation of comprehensive community initiatives, including their goals and expectations, study design and methodology, data collection and management as well as the interpretation, presentation and use of results. The summary also details the importance of defining the community and including the cultural context for these efforts.
For comprehensive community initiatives, the evaluation needs to clearly define what is meant by community. A “community” may be defined by geography, culture or other delineation.
Various Levels of Change
Comprehensive community initiatives may involve changes across systems (e.g., schools, child welfare), in individuals and families, in processes and practices or within the community itself.
Because comprehensive community initiatives occur within a complex context, there are no guidelines as to when an outcome should be measured. Smaller, gradual changes would suggest measuring outcomes earlier than for larger changes.
Statements & Quotations
Evaluation data are worth more when the community members or organizations involved in self-evaluation have authority to make decisions and allocate resources in response to findings.
– Lynn Usher
My efforts to isolate specific elements of the intervention sometimes seem sterile and futile next to the complex, intricate, dynamic, and subtle occurrences that are revealed by observations and interviews within the comprehensive community initiative communities....
– Claudia Coulton
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