Evaluating Projects of a NORC Program

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Guiding Principle # 4

A NORC program drills down to identify the component parts of a problem and to set priorities for action.

Actions and Considerations

Use your data to gain insight. Drawing on the information in your logic model, you will begin to answer these questions:

  • What are the outputs and outcomes?
  • Is the project operating as planned?
  • Are there unintended positive and/or negative effects?
  • How successful is the project?
  • What events—either within the NORC program or external to it—influence the degree of success?
  • Did you find different degrees of success among subgroups of the population served?

Disseminate findings to program staff, senior residents, and other partners. Create a communications loop so that you can:

  • Share data in a timely, unbiased, and consistent manner.
  • Receive feedback.
  • Acknowledge and comment on feedback.
  • Use the feedback to weigh options for action.

Sources to tell you more about past experiences in the community

Consider any limitations to the data. Did you collect all the data as intended in a consistent manner? Are there enough data and the right kind of data to draw conclusions? If not, identify the challenges.

Compare your new data to secondary sources or your own earlier studies. If your findings are consistent with accumulated knowledge, they will seem more reliable. If there are differences or contradictions, you’ll want to understand why.

Make sure core partners agree on key findings before sharing them with the larger community. This process generates trust within the partnership, builds confidence, and increases your chances of gaining support for future evaluations.

Keep in Mind

Evaluations generate recommendations, not definitive prescriptions.

Continue to Guiding Principle #5

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