Evaluate a CoP
Effective community evaluation is a systematic way to improve and account for activities conducted by a CoP. Evaluation is used widely in many public health settings, and it can be applied easily to communities of practice. As concerns regarding the cost and effectiveness of public health activities continue to grow, evaluation can be a powerful tool to inform decision-making and build support for continued funding.
Why Should We Evaluate?
- Find out “what works” and “what does not work”
- Conduct self-assessment and inform decision-making
- Improve capacity to identify and implement effective public health practices
- Demonstrate effectiveness of a CoP to community stakeholders
Evaluation is a critical component of community work. As part of the participatory process of CoPs, all members are active players in both levels of the evaluation, which are described below.
Evaluation Level 1: Community of Practice Approach Evaluation
CDC will conduct ongoing evaluations of the CoP approach for public health to determine how well the approach is working to build relationships and foster collaborative work across public health. The use of CoPs is a promising new approach, and information collected through evaluations is assisting CDC in modifying the approach as indicated for the public health context.
Evaluation Level 2: Community of Practice Evaluation
Each public health Community will benefit from building evaluation into its work as soon as the CoP agrees on its focus and scope. CDC has developed resources, such as the SMART Objectives Template and the Evaluation Interview Template, to assist communities in their evaluation work. In addition to the core questions in the templates, members of each CoP are encouraged to develop their own questions that address issues specific to their CoP.
When it comes time to define the goals and objectives of your CoP, this template will walk you through the process of developing specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based objectives.
Leaders of new and existing CoPs
This template helps you start-off your evaluation process by aligning it with the standard evaluation for CoPs. The template contains sample evaluation objectives and sample questions. Each CoP can modify the template by modifying or adding additional questions that are specific to its goals and objects.
Leaders of new and existing Communities of Practice (CoPs)
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