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Past Activity Spotlight - October–December 2019

Understanding the Importance of Program Evaluation

Requester/Organization Supported: Wyoming Division of Victim Services

Type & Dates: A 4-hour workshop and two 1-hour followup technical assistance webinars | May 8, 2019 (workshop), and June 12–13, 2019 (technical assistance webinars)

Description: The Wyoming Division of Victim Services received a 4-hour workshop on program evaluation for VOCA subgrantees at the 2019 Grantee Meeting in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The workshop addressed the importance of program planning and evaluations in driving effective service delivery. Training participants were offered followup technical assistance to discuss implementation of program evaluation and provide ongoing assistance. Approximately 70 subgrantee representatives, including victim advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, tribal service providers, administrators, and health care providers attended.

Implementation: The consultant was highly skilled at delving into the specifics of program evaluation, the basic components and structure of program evaluation, and was able to achieve a lot in a short period of time, including what shapes a successful evaluation, creating measureable objectives, and using the results to inform organizational growth and capacity building. Through the consultant's focus on why program evaluation is important for victim services, she was able to generate significant interest among the participants in developing their own program evaluations, which was the goal of the event's hosts.

Results: Participants expressed a renewed awareness of the topic and a greater sense of understanding around program evaluation. In discussions after the meeting, participants shared their interest in conducting a program evaluation, exploring their options, and considering their goals for an evaluation. The requester anticipates seeing programs apply for funds to conduct program evaluations in the coming year. Many participants expressed a desire to participate in the additional training time that was offered via webinar. The remote TA sessions provided an opportunity to learn more about the topic for those interested. Participants had time between the training and the remote TA to think about the topic, how it would work for their agency, and identify questions they might not have considered during the training. Twenty-three participants (33 percent of the original in-person participants) attended the two followup technical assistance webinars.