Earlier in the course, you explored how organizations plan for population needs and necessary services by implementing needs assessment surveys. Organizations and their funders want to know that program planning is done in an efficient and fiscally responsible way. Once programs are in place and services are being rendered, they also want to know that programs are progressing toward their goals and are making positive differences in the lives of their communities (and more specifically, the population receiving program services). To do this, organizations engage in program evaluation.
There are three main types of program evaluation: outcome-focused, empowerment, and outcome-focused empowerment. In outcome-focused evaluation, criteria for program success is set and evaluated by persons outside the direct program staff. Empowerment evaluation allows program staff to set and measure their own evaluation terms, and outcome-focused empowerment is a combination of the two. Each type of evaluation has its own benefits and limitations, and is more or less appropriate for various evaluation situations.
In this Discussion, you will conduct research on program evaluation and evaluate the evaluation approaches found in those articles.
select a journal article published within the last 5 years that applies one of the three program evaluation approaches to a human or social services program. Consider why this type was selected and the benefits and challenges to implementing it in this particular situation.
Post a brief description of the program being evaluated in the article you selected. Explain which evaluation approach was used in the evaluation and why it was appropriate for the task. Finally, explain benefits and challenges to applying this type of evaluation to the program in question. Be specific and provide examples.