Process evaluation documents how a program operates by describing characteristics of clients and staff, the nature of services offered and methods of delivery, and patterns of service use to essentially generate a blueprint of a program in action. Effective process evaluation will allow applicants to:
- Describe how funds were used
- Provide a guide to others wishing to replicate the project and study the outcomes of a model program
- Describe what the “intervention” consisted of in reality, not just as designed
Process evaluation is appropriate for:
- Direct service and training projects
- Model and demonstration projects
The following questions may be used to develop effective process evaluation. These questions may help applicants create an outline of how they plan to gather information about their project. The list is intended to be illustrative—some questions may not be relevant to all projects and applicants may want to include other questions that are not listed below.
- What were the goals and specific objectives of the project?
- For each objective, what specific steps were taken and how were they accomplished?
- For each objective or program component, what resources/inputs were needed (type, numbers, and time commitments of staff, physical space(s), equipment, volunteers, etc.)?
- What type(s) of client(s) did each program element target?
- What were the characteristics of clients actually served (age, gender, health status, living situation, family status, cognitive status, functional status, etc.)?
- Were the characteristics of clients/participants in line with the targeted population? If not, why not? Were any type(s) of clients underrepresented? If so, why do you feel these groups were not reached?
- How many clients/participants received each service? Was this more or less than your goal? Why do you think demand was higher or lower than expected?
- How many units of each type of service/program component did clients receive (e.g., hours, rides, course sessions, friendly visits, days of adult day care, rehabilitation sessions, etc.)?
- How much did the program cost? How did this break down for individual parts of larger projects?
- How satisfied were clients with services provided? Were there any aspects of program operation that clients or staff recommended changing and why?