Evaluations of Innovative Programs
CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) assists with evaluations of innovative programs and policies that seek to improve the health and well-being of youth. These evaluations are also known as "applied evaluations."
Applied evaluation is conducted through technical assistance to agencies or organizations implementing these initiatives and answers questions of interest to them. applied evaluations involve nonexperimental or quasi-experimental methods, with data collection typically lasting 12–24 months.
DASH staff select types of emerging youth health initiatives warranting further investigation, such as initiatives to increase physical activity; increase quality of nutrition; provide a healthy school environment for lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth; or manage asthma in the context of coordinated school health. Once a type of initiative has been selected as a topic of applied evaluation, specific initiatives are nominated to DASH staff for consideration. Any specific initiative can be nominated, whether or not it is funded by DASH.
Characteristics of Initiatives that Undergo Applied Evaluations
The initiative should
- Be well established, but lack rigorous evaluation.
- Focus on school-aged youth.
- Be likely to make a difference.
- Be structured such that researchers can identify comparison sites/groups.
- Address under-served populations and health disparities.