Process evaluation ensures that a program is implemented as intended—which is critical for successful adoption of evidence-based practice. Process evaluation can help explain why there are differences among outcomes in programs or practice models. They might reveal difference in the education and training of providers of the service, in characteristics of the participants in the program, or in length and frequency of therapy sessions, among other things.
Because a large proportion of process evaluation utilizes qualitative research, you examine the process of qualitative data analysis and the reporting of results of such analysis, you apply process evaluation reporting techniques to improve upon a qualitative research report, and you create a process evaluation plan.
Reporting a Process Evaluation
Just as in needs assessments, interviews and focus groups are common tools for obtaining information about the processes involved in the implementation of programs. Process evaluation should include specifics about purpose, questions which the evaluation will address, and methods that social workers will use to conduct evaluations.
Review the many examples of process evaluation results described in Chapter 8 of Dudley, J. R. (2014). Social work evaluation: Enhancing what we do. (2nd ed.) Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books, or in the optional resources. Select an example of a process evaluation that produced valuable information. Compare the description of those results with the Social Work Research Qualitative Groups case study located in this week’s resources..
By Day 3
Post a description of the process evaluation that you chose and explain why you selected this example. Describe the stage of program implementation in which the evaluation occurred, the informants, the questions asked, and the results. Based upon your comparison of the case study and the program evaluation report that you chose, improve upon the information presented in the case study by identifying gaps in information. Fill in these gaps as if you were the facilitator of the focus group. Clearly identify the purpose of the process evaluation and the questions asked.
Dudley, J. R. (2014). Social work evaluation: Enhancing what we do. (2nd ed.) Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.
- Chapter 8, “Improving How Programs and Practice Work” (pp. 167–207)