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Putting Equitable Evaluation into Practice

Does your evaluation process accurately represent the population you serve? The marginalized and less privileged? We shared in this blog that evaluation is a process that helps organizations determine if the change that they set to accomplish actually occurred. We follow a 4-step evaluation process: (1) establish clear outcomes, (2) create or modify data tools and systems, (3) analyze the data, and (4) use data to make informed decisions.  In all our work with clients, we want to ensure we’re best representing all populations when doing evaluation. That’s why we’re learning more about an emerging initiative that is transforming the way evaluators think about their work – equitable evaluation.  At TCG, we’re always learning! We recently attended a lunch and

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Learn About Indiana’s Youngest Children with the 2019 ELAC Annual Report!

Indiana’s Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC) released its 2019 Annual Report. Each year, ELAC completes a needs assessment on the state’s early childhood education system and then recommends solutions. We want to share some quick highlights and key takeaways from this year’s needs assessment.  ELAC focuses on ensuring early childhood education is accessible, high-quality, and affordable to all families.  Are Children Ages 0-5 Receiving High-Quality Care? Of the 506,257 children in Indiana ages 0-5, 64% need care because all parents are working. This includes both working parents who are single and households where both parents work outside the home.  Of those children who need care, only 40% are enrolled in known programs. The other three fifths of children receive informal

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5 W’s of a Process Evaluation: Part 2

In a recent blog post, we introduced the first two W’s of a process evaluation: Why conduct a process evaluation Who should conduct a process evaluation This blog post will cover the remaining three W’s: What methods to use to conduct a process evaluation Where to conduct a process evaluation When to conduct a process evaluation WHAT METHODS TO USE WHEN CONDUCTING A PROCESS EVALUATION There are several different data tools and methods you can use during a process evaluation. It may be helpful to use a combination of these methods! Review documentation: It can be helpful to review staff logs, notes, attendance data and other program documents during a process evaluation. This method will help you to assess if

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5 W’s of a Process Evaluation: Part 1

When it comes to program evaluation, people often think of evaluating the effectiveness and outcomes of their program. They may not think about evaluating how the program was administered or delivered, which may affect the program outcomes. There are several types of valuable evaluations that do not focus on outcomes. One type of evaluation, called “process or formative evaluation”, assesses how a program is being implemented. In this two part blog series, we are going to cover the 5 W’s of a Process Evaluation: Why conduct a process evaluation Who should conduct a process evaluation What methods to use to conduct a process evaluation Where to conduct a process evaluation When to conduct a process evaluation In this first blog

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How A Needs Assessment Can Support Your Head Start Program

Most organizations that receive federal or state funding and even private funding are required to complete some type of needs assessment. This might be part of their grant application or annual program update. The purpose of the needs assessment (which we talk more about here and here) is to help organizations align their services to meet the needs of their targeted population and geographic service area. Head Start and Early Head Start grantees are one type of grant program that must complete a comprehensive needs assessment every five years as part of their grant application. They are also required to complete an annual needs assessment update. In addition to the local grantees, each state has a Head Start Collaboration Office. They

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4 Steps to Create a Dashboard

In today’s information age, organizations are overwhelmed with the amount of information that they collect, track and monitor. Non-profit leaders must decipher all the data to determine what is meaningful and relevant to share with staff, funders, Boards of Directors and other community partners. A dashboard is a great tool to bring all the critical elements together in a user-friendly report. Through our program evaluation and research and analysis services, we help organizations create dashboards. Here are four steps to create an effective dashboard: Determine the audience for the dashboard. A dashboard is customized for the audience meant to view and use the dashboard, so first an organization needs to determine the intended audience. Then an organization needs to determine

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Are You Data Literate?

Recently the TCG team participated in a data visualization challenge at the Indy Big Data Conference, and this experience has led me to writing a blog on data literacy.  What is data literacy? Merriam Webster defines being literate as “having knowledge or competence”, and being competent with data is a foundational skill we all need in this age of big data. Now, you don’t have to love math or know how to write code to be data literate. What you need to be comfortable doing is asking what, how, why, and so what of data. What data is being collected? (e.g., age, county, number of individuals with a college degree) How is the data being collected? (e.g., application, agency records, census survey) Why? Especially

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4 Tips for Getting Started with Tableau

Have you ever seen beautiful charts or dashboards that make the data “pop” in the report or presentation and wondered how could you do that? At Transform Consulting Group, we have made a lot of charts and graphs to help our clients evaluate their programs and understand important information in a way that is easy to digest. We work to find the most efficient ways to assist our clients with the data that they need to make informed, timely decisions. One way to do this is staying current with data analysis and visualization software. The data visualization software that we are crushing on these days is Tableau. It is essentially an accelerated version of “pivot tables”.  If any of you are

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When do you need a Feasibility Study?

Whether you call it a feasibility study, a needs assessment, or a readiness assessment, you typically need one when your organization is looking to take on a large initiative such as a capital fundraising campaign, adding a new program or service, or expanding into a new market.   At Transform Consulting Group (TCG), we perform feasibility studies that often include the following steps:  gathering stakeholder feedback, surveying the board of directors, scanning the environment, completing a financial analysis, and conducting a community assessment.  There is a lot to consider when taking on a large initiative, and each feasibility study is going to look slightly different depending on what is being considered and how your organization operates. Our team has served

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Press Pause: Redesigning an Existing Program

In January, we kicked off our Exercise Your Impact campaign. Throughout 2019 we’re sharing tools and resources that highlight critical phases of organizational planning. During Quarter 2, we are focusing on program development. An important aspect of program development is knowing when to redesign an existing program. Too often, organizations operate on “auto-pilot” and keep running their programs in the same way because that’s how they’ve always done it. Programs can start to feel stagnant or stuck in a rut, but the effort involved in making a big programmatic change can keep programs in this place. Staying on auto-pilot can cause staff to feel overworked and stressed, especially if a program is not having the desired impact. Instead of forcing

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