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Fam Plann Perspect. 1994 May-Jun;26(3):116-20, 131.

Evaluating teenage pregnancy prevention and other social programs: ten stages of program assessment.

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Sociometrics Corporation, Los Altos, Calif.



A full impact evaluation of a program designed to address social problems such as teenage pregnancy should be considered the end of an ordered series of 10 successive stages which together constitute program assessment. The first of 3 levels of stages is that of planning and model building (what social problem is being addressed and how should it be tackled). The levels in this stage are 1) stating the problem, 2) setting goals and objectives, 3) defining the intervention, and 4) drafting the program model. Data collection is the next level and incorporates the stages of 5) client accounting, 6) measuring the intervention, and 7) monitoring participation. The third and final level is providing a comparison against a standard. This is accomplished by 8) doing a process evaluation, 9) doing an outcome evaluation, and 10) doing a full impact evaluation. While these 10 stages are not the only way to conceptualize program assessment, they provide an ordered technique for building an evaluation design into overall planning of an intervention. Each stage advances on the previous stage and has attendant benefits and costs (which are described in this article). This process allows evaluators and program administrators to 1) do a less ambitious program well instead of doing a grand design poorly, 2) use the detailed series of steps to make improvements consistent with available resources, 3) understand that not every program need be evaluated at its highest level, and 4) realize that nearly every program should be able to achieve stage 4 without incurring high costs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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