Designing an Impact Evaluation for Demonstration Programs on Community Initiatives

Frances Gragg, Westat, Inc.

As part of the national evaluation for the Safe Kids/Safe Streets Project (funded by the Office of Justice Programs), Westat designed an impact evaluation to assess the project's status at several points in time. Some of the issues considered in developing the impact evaluation research design included the variations in program design, grant awards, rate of implementation, target areas, and collaboration backgrounds. The research design has five distinct data collection strategies: key informant interviews, stakeholders survey, survey of agency personnel, and case tracking. The key components of each strategy and how they inform and complement the process evaluation will be discussed. The case tracking component of the evaluation will be presented in greater detail. Specifically, we will discuss developing a sampling framework given limitations in the field, use of multiple agency files, approach to data collection, findings from the pilot tests, and revisions to the design based on the pilot test.

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Updated 05/20/2006