Resources on external and self-evaluation

Thu 12 Feb 2015

The New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse has collated some resources on evaluation relevant to family and whānau violence services. 2015 ...

The New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse has collated some resources on evaluation relevant to family and whānau violence services.

2015 has been declared the International Year of Evaluation by EvalPartners, a global movement to strengthen national evaluation capacities.

United States

The VERA Institute of Justice has published a guide to support service providers in assessing their own evaluation capacity and identifying areas of strength as well as areas for improvement. Cultivating Evaluation Capacity: A Guide for Programs Addressing Domestic Violence (2015) is supported by a resource hub hosting five webinars, which explore topics in the guide and how they have been applied by organisations in the field.

The American Evaluation Association has published a Statement On Cultural Competence In Evaluation (2011). Representing six years of work and consultation, it states, "Cultural competence is a stance taken toward culture, not a discrete status or simple mastery of particular knowledge and skills. Cultural competence is a 'process' or a sensibility cultivated throughout a lifetime. It requires awareness of self, reflection on one’s own cultural position, awareness of others’ positions, and the ability to interact genuinely and respectfully with others."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a guide on cultural competence in the evaluation of public health programs and initiatives. Practical Strategies for Culturally Competent Evaluation (2014) provides "important strategies for approaching an evaluation with a critical cultural lens to ensure that evaluation efforts have cultural relevance and generate meaningful findings..." The guide supplements the CDC's Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health and highlights ways to integrate cultural competence at each of six evaluation steps. An abbreviated version of the guide (Program Evaluation Tip Sheet: Integrating Cultural Competence), related resources and tools are available in the appendix.

The CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has also published Education for Improvement: A Seven-Step Empowerment Evaluation Approach For Violence Prevention Organisations (2009) which provides details of empowerment evaluation. The resource is designed to help organisations to hire an empowerment evaluator to assist in building evaluation capacity through a "learn-by-doing process of evaluating their own strategies."

The National Sexual Violence Resource Centre (NSVRC) has published an interactive online course which covers the basic steps of evaluating the impact of sexual violence prevention programmes, including: Clarifying Goals and Objectives; Planning Evaluation Design; Choosing Measurement Tools; and Collecting Data. Evaluating Sexual Violence Prevention Programs: Steps and Strategies for Preventionists, which takes approximately 60 minutes to complete, helps users "identify where their program has the skills and resources to do evaluation and where they may need some help." Note: users need to set up a free account with NSVRC before accessing the course.

The National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention - FRIENDS has published a toolkit for "developing an individualised outcome evaluation plan from the ground up." The Evaluation Toolkit is an online compendium of information and resources divided into four linked components. It is designed to build evaluation capacity from an entry level, by developing and implementing evaluation processes that will be useful in day-to-day practice, and help provide evidence of meaningful differences to children and families. A component of the Evaluation Toolkit is the Logic Model Builder for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention/Family Support Programmes. The Builder guides the development of a logic model: a picture of how a programme works. It helps programmes to identify anticipated outcomes, indicators of success, and instruments to get started in planning an evaluation.

The Ohio State Government has published Outcome Evaluation Strategies for Domestic Violence Service Programmes receiving Family Violence Prevention and Services Administration (FVPSA) funding: A Practical Guide, providing a detailed practical guide of how to develop and implement outcome evaluation strategies. While designed for US organisations, it provides significant detail that may also be valuable for other users.

The National Resource Center on Violence Against Women (VAWnet) published Evaluating the Outcomes of Domestic Violence Service Providers: Some Practical Considerations and Strategies which presents the highlights of the above Practical Guide. The document provides tips on how to write an evaluation report, including wording to avoid, and discusses different interviewing styles.

United Kingdom

The University of New Hampshire and the World Health Organisation have published Improving efforts to prevent children's exposure to violence: A handbook for defining programme theory and planning for evaluation in the new evidence-based culture. The handbook assists non-government organisations and agencies to make better use of exisiting research and plan for evaluation when developing and implementing programmes to prevent violence against children.

Reason is a research, evaluation and analysis support network co-led by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), Research in Practice (RiP) and Research in Practice for Adults (RiPfA). Among other potentially useful articles, two resources, Embedding the Voice of Children and Young People in Service Evaluation and Ethics for Research with Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults may be of use to those conducting evaluation within the family violence field. Note: there is a charge for these resources.


The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) published a paper, Community of practice reflection about evaluation in organisations that strive to prevent violence against women (2014) which captured the reflections of a forum held on evaluation practice. The forum "aimed to generate discussion among advanced practitioners of primary prevention of violence against women about the challenges and opportunities emerging from their evaluation practice, and start identifying ways of building a stronger culture of evaluation."

VicHealth also published two practice papers on the evaluation of VicHealth's Respect, Responsibility and Equality programme. The programme consists of a number of projects aiming to build safer, more respectful environments for women. The papers summarise the evaluation capacity building approach which was taken in two distinct stages:

Evaluation capacity building in the Respect, Responsibility and Equality program: Report on Stage 1 (2008–10) (2013) by Dr Michael Flood

Evaluating preventing violence against women initiatives: A participatory and learning-oriented approach for primary prevention in Victoria (2013) by Dr Wei Leng Kwok.

The papers are both available from the VicHealth website.

New Zealand

The Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA) represents evaluation practictioners, supporting professional development and promoting safe and high quality evaluation services.

Image: Smooth Stones by a.pitch. Licence: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)


Image: a.pitch