Program Evaluation and Community Consultation

We Bring Science to Life

The Program Evaluation and Community Consultation branch of Youth-Nex uses science to directly advance evidence-based and data-driven programming for youth in the localities and the State of Virginia. Building on the existing community strengths, we rigorously test effectiveness of programming, initiatives, and policies to improve implementation and create sustainable change.

What Organizations Might Have
   •  An idea for a program, initiative, or policy and the desire to measure effectiveness and impact from the beginning
   •  A group of people invested in an issue and interested in developing and monitoring a plan for going forward
   •  An identified community problem or service gap and the desire to do something about it
   •  A program, initiative, or policy underway and the desire to demonstrate its effectiveness and impact
   •  The desire to make data-driven decisions for moving forward
   •  The desire to understand what customers or potential customers really need
   •  Data and a desire to understand it

Questions We Can Answer
   •  Did an afterschool tutoring program result in higher grades and test scores for the children in it?
           Were there unintended outcomes?
   •  How do youth think differently about risk taking after completing the program?
   •  What do the people served want and need?  What would they have programming do differently?
   •  What is known about the best afterschool programs?
   •  Youth scored better at the end of the program, but how much better did they need to do for it to be meaningful?
   •  What are the trends in the data?
   •  How can data be used in “real time” to guide decision making by program leaders?
   •  How can the data be brought together so that reasonable conclusions can be drawn?
   •  How has the intended strategy changed during the process of program implementation?
   •  How can the program be better implemented?
   •  How can the program effectively adapt to changing circumstances without compromising outcomes?

We Bring Science to Life…
We support effective youth development by using program evaluation to determine how well and in what ways programs and policies are working, and by supporting effective coalitions and collaborations. Our team is dedicated to collaborating with organizations to develop high-quality, culturally-competent evaluations, conducted with minimal disruption to the organization. Our team is responsive and flexible to changing conditions, and produces succinct, easy-to-understand deliverables with direct, actionable value.

We also produce timely research briefs and white papers on emerging issues; information on evidence-based practices and youth development, risk, and prevention; as well as providing consultation on innovative program and policy development; training; and grant writing support.

We Support Excellent Programming
•    Design and conduct needs assessments, surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, interviews, record reviews
     and observations
•    Develop logic models and theories of change
•    Demonstrate how a program is developing or has changed over time
•    Measure program and policy effectiveness and impact
•    Move programs to the next step or level

We Leverage Data
•    Develop databases and shared information systems
•    Organize and clean data
•    Use plain English data analysis

We Build Organizational Capacity
•    Write reports, white papers, and issue briefs
•    Provide information on evidence-based practice and information on youth development
•    Collaborate on grant writing
•    Provide capacity building technical assistance
•    Provide action-oriented training and individualized consultation
•    Make connections with resources across the University