MISRGO 1st Quarter Empowerment Evaluation Workshop
This is the beginning of the annual cycle for the MISRGO Tobacco Prevention grantees. We assembled on September 11th, 2015 at the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff. The beginning of the workshop providing basic training and technical assistance for the grantees. It also provided the team with an opportunity to chart their own course for the year.
It included a review of the end-of-the-year evaluation findings, in which between 73% and 100% of the grantees met or exceeded their annual goals.
We also discussed how we were building both programmatic and evaluative capacity.
Then we launched into resources ranging from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We provided up dates on the E-cigarette phenomenon.
"E-cigarette use tripled among middle and high school students in just one year."
The heart of the training focused on the evaluation dashboard to monitor quarterly and annual program performance.
It consisted of the following data sources:
- Actual Performance - how many things were accomplished each quarter and annually (as the data comes in)
- Milestones - what is expected each quarter and annually (concerning outcomes or results)
- Goals - the number of things that should happen at the end of the year
- Baseline - where things were before the beginning of the year.
The grantees agreed on the baseline, goals, and milestones. From this point on all that is required of the grantees is recording the actual performance each quarter. The dashboard allows grantees to monitor their own progress and performance. They can compare their actual performance with their quarterly milestones and annual goals. It also allows the MISRGO office and evaluation team to determine if additional intervention and assistance are needed. A sample dashboard is provided below:
The team carved out time in the schedule to conduct an abbreviated empowerment evaluation exercise, focusing on funding and sustainability. It resulted in concrete steps to retain existing sources of funding and an action plan to generate new funding streams for tobacco prevention work.
The Sustainability Report and action plan generated from that exercise is available online.
Technological Tools in Evaluation
The workshop concluded with a variety of technological tools used in evaluation to facilitate communication and reporting, ranging from online surveys to word clouds and infographics.