Blog

Blog

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

READ MORE

4 Steps to Complete a Program Evaluation

Program evaluation helps organizations determine if the change that they set to accomplish actually occurred. Change can be knowledge gained, attitude change, or behavior change. For example, did a literacy tutoring program help the students who were not reading on grade level actually catch up to reading on grade level by the end of the program period? Or, are the low-income children who participated in a high-quality pre-K program ready for kindergarten?   At Transform Consulting Group, we are data nerds and love helping organizations develop and implement evaluation plans to assess their change by using a four-step process. Program Evaluation in Four Steps: Establish clear outcomes Create or modify data tools and systems Analyze the data Use data to

READ MORE

How to Engage Diverse Stakeholders in your Planning

When creating a strategic plan or going through any organizational planning process, who do you engage in that process for feedback? In May, we discussed the 4 Steps of Strategic Planning. Step one is collaboration – Collaborate with key stakeholders to inform the strategic planning process and create buy-in and ownership in the plan. Who to Engage There are several different types of stakeholders to consider gathering feedback from during the strategic planning process. While it will vary depending on your organization and industry, there are some common stakeholders that we recommend including. They include the following key stakeholders: Funders – current and past funders who know your organization as well as the industry to provide insight on what’s working

READ MORE

4 Steps to Complete a Feasibility Study

Too often non-profits and government agencies immediately begin implementing a new program or service area. They see a need with their clients or a gap in the existing services, so they elect to help meet that need. This all sounds good, right? The challenge is that there has not been enough time to complete a comprehensive planning and assessment process to develop the program or service. One service we offer our clients to meet this need is completing a feasibility study. We follow the Plan-Do-Study-Act or “PDSA” continuous quality improvement cycle (learn more in this blog).  We help clients assess, design, launch and evaluate programs and services in order to meet community needs and apply the latest research. When following

READ MORE

Does Your Organization Have a Continuous Quality Improvement Process?

During a time where communities and policies are changing, it is important to ensure the programs and services within those communities are constantly evolving to meet the needs of families. The Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) model is an ongoing process for organizations to be able to determine whether or not a change made led to an improvement in quality. In order to move toward making the necessary improvements, a review of what occurred is conducted through a CQI process like the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle. Steps to Complete a PDSA Cycle At Transform Consulting Group, we utilize this consistent approach when working with organizations to help them find solutions. Plan: Before beginning your PDSA cycle, identify the problem or issue you

READ MORE

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

READ MORE

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

READ MORE

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

READ MORE

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

READ MORE

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

READ MORE