Borrowing from public health (again): an evaluation framework

February 23, 2007

Evaluation is an issue I have encountered almost everywhere in my research travels to public legal education organizations in Canada. Not almost everywhere, in fact—it’s been an issue everywhere I’ve been. Funders want programs evaluated, and organizations want to ensure that their programming is having an impact, but nobody I’ve talked to is convinced that they’ve solved the riddles of PLEI evaluation. There has been plenty of research on evaluating PLEI (see, for instance, Justice Canada’s Evaluation of Public Legal Education and Information: An Annotated Bibliography [296 KB PDF]). But as far as I know nobody has yet proposed a full evaluation framework.

Recently I ran across this document from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health (1999) [516 KB PDF]. What’s notable about this evaluation framework is that it hopes to be something that providers can use themselves, without always relying on evaluation professionals: “The emphasis is on practical, ongoing evaluation strategies that involve all program stakeholders, not just evaluation experts.”

A short overview of the framework is linked here, and the whole paper in PDF is here.


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