Developing Evaluation Questions
Process evaluation deals with the implementation process and examination of a project according to the logic model. Unlike outcome and impact evaluation, process evaluation focuses on the inputs, activities, and outputs (Trieu et al., 2018). Process evaluation examines whether a program’s implementation is according to the intended plan. It focuses on the barriers and the possible changes necessary to enhance the success of a project (Trieu et al., 2018). For instance, a review of the project on reducing the number of African-American smokers in Michigan by educating them on lung cancer is necessary. A process evaluation on smoking cessation will require various questions to elicit more information and examine the program’s effectiveness.
The three major process evaluation questions are essential to determine if the program was carried out according to the intended plan. The first question is, how is the program being implemented? The smoking cessation program should comprise workshops and demonstrations. A fear appeal approach will trigger behavior change when the participants learn the effects of smoking. Another vital question is whether the program is being implemented correctly or not. Implementation of the program is critical since it will not achieve the set objectives if it fails to adhere to set guidelines (Trieu et al., 2018). The third question is, are the participants reached as intended and how satisfied are the clients? The success of the program is the satisfaction of the participants when they finally achieve the intended objective. For example, when the participants quit smoking, it will be their joy to start a new life with a low risk of lung cancer.
Process evaluation of the health program proposal will focus on three vital aspects of how, when, what, and why. The crucial questions will focus on identifying the specific target, identifying the reasons for targeting the participants and identifying the activities necessary to implement the program (Trieu et al., 2018). Process evaluation for the smoking cessation program will occur once the program begins.
An impact evaluation examines if an intervention is successful and if it deserves expansion. It helps improve or reorient the program and make critical decisions on whether to continue or discontinue a program (Smith et al., 2017). For example, impact evaluation is essential to improve the implementation of a similar program. Impact evaluation examines the overall impact or outcome. In some instances, projects may achieve their target but create a negative result (Smith et al., 2017). Other projects may spend more resources and fail to stay within the times but positively impact the participants. The impact evaluation is crucial since it will help the stakeholders determine if the program should continue.
The three major impact evaluation questions are essential in examining the overall impact of a program. For instance, the first question should be how did the smoking cessation program work? The smoking cessation program intends to help smokers quit smoking by educating the participants about the adverse effects of smoking. It will be crucial to evaluate if the approach is effective and whether improvements are necessary for the future (Smith et al., 2017). The second question is; did the program result in intended outcomes in the short and long-term term, for whom, and in what ways? The objective of the project was to help smokers to quit their negative behavior. It is vital to examine if the program effectively generated quality outcomes (Smith et al., 2017). The third question is, what were the unintended outcomes, both positive and negative? The intended outcomes include smoking cessation and sensitization of the adverse effects of smoking.
Outcome evaluation measures the extent to which a program achieved the intended goal by measuring the results. The first step to develop specific objectives that the project should achieve (Myers et al., 2018). For example, an outcome evaluation in the smoking cessation program should evaluate whether the program was effective in helping people to quit smoking. Another critical question is whether the program effectively with specific groups of people than others (Myers et al., 2018). In the smoking cessation program among the African-American males in Michigan, it is vital to ascertain if the program was successful with some age group or people with specific characteristics. The third outcome evaluation question is what aspects of the program did participants find to have the most significant benefit? For example, participants can disclose that psychotherapy or demonstration workshops had the highest value in assisting smokers in quitting the behavior.
An outcome evaluation of smoking cessation among African-American males will require various actions. Some of the actions include evaluation of internal reports (Myers et al., 2018). For example, it will be crucial to examine the number of participants and their benefits by participating in the smoking cessation program. It will be critical to examine the long-term changes resulting from the program (Myers et al., 2018). For instance, a change of perceptions about smoking will be a vital outcome. Smoking cessation will be a result of learning the dangers of smoking. When people learn that smoking affects their health, they will be inspired to change their behavior. The long-term effects can trigger a change in smoking trends among African-American males in Michigan.
The three evaluation questions are essential in enhancing the success of a program despite their significant differences. Impact valuation focuses on the program’s effectiveness to achieve the set objectives, while process evaluation deals with whether a program was implemented as planned (Hirai et al., 2018). Outcome evaluation is the measurement of results to determine if the intended outcomes were achieved. Outcome evaluation is necessary since it examines whether the program achieved the intended objectives before and after the participation. A comparison of the participants and non-participants should indicate the value of the health program (Hirai et al., 2018). For instance, outcome evaluation should show the success in promoting smoking cessation among the participants. Outcome evaluation will show the number of people who quit smoking. Smoking cessation will describe people who do not smoke for six months or one year. An assessment of the outcomes is vital to determine if the program should continue or some adjustments are vital to boost the program’s success.
Impact evaluation is the assessment of the immediate benefits or effects of an intervention. The intervention objectives of the smoking cessation program are to educate people and encourage them to quit smoking (Dahne et al., 2021). Smoking cessation among the target group is crucial since it will promote quality health outcomes. Conversely, the outcome evaluation assesses the long-term effects of an intervention according to the set goals. Outcome evaluation is vital to assess the risk of relapse (Dahne et al., 2021). It will dictate if the program is successful in alleviating a vice among the participants.
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Hirai, A. H., Sappenfield, W. M., Ghandour, R. M., Donahue, S., Lee, V., & Lu, M. C. (2018). The Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) to reduce infant mortality: an outcome evaluation from the US South, 2011 to 2014. American Journal of Public Health, 108(6), 815-821.
Myers, G., Wright, S., Blane, S., Pratt, I. S., & Pettigrew, S. (2018). A process and outcome evaluation of an in-class vegetable promotion program. Appetite, 125, 182-189.
Smith, B. J., Rissel, C., Shilton, T., & Bauman, A. (2017). Advancing evaluation practice in health promotion. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 27(3), 184-186.
Trieu, K., Webster, J., Jan, S., Hope, S., Naseri, T., Ieremia, M., … & Moodie, M. (2018). Process evaluation of Samoa’s national salt reduction strategy (MASIMA): what interventions can be successfully replicated in lower-income countries?. Implementation Science, 13(1), 1-14.