Steps in Conducting a Rapid Evaluation
1. Nomination of initiatives.
Staff from CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) select
types of initiatives warranting further investigation that seek to improve
the health and well-being of our nation’s youth. Once a type of initiative
has been selected, DASH solicits nominations for specific initiatives to be
evaluated (see Nominations page for details). Any initiative can be
nominated, whether or not it is funded by DASH.
2. Selection of initiatives for evaluability assessment.
Once nominations are received by DASH, they are screened using a set of
inclusion and exclusion criteria that are specific to the type of
initiative. Telephone interviews are conducted with the program manager for
each initiative that meets the inclusion criteria. Based on the interviews
and nomination materials, summaries of each initiative are prepared and
shared with experts in the specific topic area. These experts are
responsible for selecting the initiatives that receive an evaluability
3. Completion of evaluability assessments.
An evaluability assessment includes a two-day site visit to the initiative.
During the site visit, interviews are conducted with key stakeholders and
observations are made to gain a better understanding of the initiative and
how it is implemented. At the end of the site visit, a report is prepared
that summarizes the visit, documents the main components of the initiative,
and discusses the initiative’s potential for evaluation. The site has an
opportunity to review the report for accuracy.
4. Selection of initiative for rapid evaluation.
Each site visit report is shared with senior managers within DASH, who make
final decisions on which initiatives receive rapid evaluations. Factors
included in these decisions are the initiative’s plausibility, feasibility,
readiness for evaluation, and availability of resources within DASH.
5. Implementation of the rapid evaluation.
Once selected for an evaluation, DASH staff, an evaluation contractor,
and the selected site collaborate to design an evaluation that meets the
site’s needs. The selected site is asked to participate in the evaluation
study for 12–24 months and approves all aspects of the evaluation. In
addition, staff at the site are involved in recruiting participants and
DASH and its evaluation contractor provide support to initiatives for
rapid evaluations by providing incentives for participation and hiring
on-site staff to assist with data collection and other evaluation logistics.
DASH is also responsible for conducting data analysis and disseminating
findings through final reports and published manuscripts.