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Division of Adolescent and School Health — Indicators for School Health Programs Tutorial
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Definitions & Background

Process Evaluation

Process evaluation is an ongoing process and is undertaken to determine

  • Whether a program and its activities are being implemented as intended or planned
  • Whether a program is accomplishing all its planned outputs
  • Who is conducting the program activities
  • Where and when the activities take place
  • Who is being reached (e.g., your target population)

Activity: The Process Evaluation Cycle


Click on each green arrow ( Click Here ) below to reveal more detailed information for each step in the process evaluation cycle. Start with the pulsating green arrow labeled "Plan," below.


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The Process Evaluation Cycle

#1 pop-up text: PLAN: There are three primary program planning tools that DASH-funded partners can develop and use to understand and monitor their program’s implementation – strategic plan, logic model, and annual workplan.

For example: Your workplan states that you will provide instruction to teachers in all the local high schools on a new HIV/AIDS curriculum.

#2 pop-up text: IMPLEMENT: You carry out your planned activities as described within your workplan.

For example: You conduct training for local high school teachers on the new HIV/AIDS curriculum.

#3 pop-up text: COLLECT: You collect data from your activities using various sources of data and use it to determine if your program outputs and outcomes are being reached or have been achieved. This data can be used to:

  • Inform future efforts, such as expanding or refocusing your program activities and resources, or continuing as planned;
  • Demonstrate whether you need financial support for additional resources or staffing;
  • Lead to improvements in programs; or
  • Strengthen program effectiveness.

For example: Fill out participant rosters for every HIV training. Document distribution of HIV curricular materials.

#4 pop-up text: ANALYZE: You frequently analyze data from the various data sources by totaling the numbers. The DASH Indicators are the primary process evaluation data source for DASH funded SEA, TEA, TG, and LEA programs. They can be used to:

  • Measure intended changes; or
  • Quantify the degree to which a given attribute is observed.

They may also be used to address:

  • The type or level of program activities conducted (process); or
  • The direct products and services delivered by a program (outputs).

For example: How many schools received copies of the new HIV curricular materials that your program staff distributed? How many participants attended professional development events (trainings) on the new HIV curriculum?

#5 pop-up text: REPORT: You create a report documenting the extent to which your program achieved its planned outputs.

For example: 75% of the teachers at all local high schools received training on the new HIV/AIDS curriculum. 50 schools received copies of the new HIV curricular materials.

#6 pop-up text: EVALUATE: You compare the achieved results (as determined by analyzing the data collected) with the intended results indicated within the workplan. Did you reach your outputs as expected? Do you need to change your program activities? Base your next steps and plans for program improvement upon this information.

For example: If your program planned to provide instruction to teachers in all the local high schools on the new HIV/AIDS curriculum, but there were delays in distributing the new curriculum or in finalizing the training schedule with local high school administrators, you will not reach your expected outputs. Because the planned instruction to all teachers on the new HIV/AIDS curriculum did not occur, we need to determine if this was due to delays in distributing the new curriculum or in finalizing the training schedule with local high school administrators. (Both are activities.) You will need to make changes next time you plan a similar activity or objective. Use this information to evaluate the process and determine a more effective plan for the future.

#7 pop-up text: DISSEMINATE: Make sure to communicate your results to program staff, people who are served by the program, funders, and other appropriate stakeholders.

For example: Communicate your evaluation results, lessons learned, and future actions during meetings, through memos, emails, or other correspondence.

More Information:
Program Evaluation Expectations
Information on process evalution [pdf 193K]


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