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Contact Info

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Healthy Communities Program
4770 Buford Highway, N.E., Mailstop K-93
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717

Telephone: (770) 488-6452
Fax: (770) 488-8488

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Evaluation of Steps Communities

Steps communities report on Core Performance Measures. The purposes of this evaluation include:

  • Document key features of program implementation
  • Determine progress toward intended outcomes
  • Identify opportunities for ongoing program improvement

What are the Core Performance Measures?

The Core Performance Measures comprise the heart of Steps communities' evaluation efforts. Over the course of two years, stakeholders identified and agreed upon 18 measures and 44 related indicators; each reflects a critical component of Steps activities. The Core Performance Measures:

  • Provide information about what and how results are achieved;
  • Reflect the best-possible science and practice-wisdom relevant to Steps communities; and
  • Take into account the practicalities of data collection at the community level.

How do communities collect the data required to report on the Core Performance Measures?

All communities document program implementation via site-specific records or progress reports. To report on progress toward key health outcomes, these communities participate in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) annually and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) biennially. Participation in BRFSS and YRBSS provides:

  • Community-level data about relevant risk factors and behaviors.
  • High-quality data that is reasonably comparable across funded communities, states, and many national estimates.
  • A consistent, stable source of data to monitor progress over time.

How will the Core Performance Measures Be Used?

Steps communities will use these data to:

  • Improve or refocus existing programs on activities with the greatest promise of results;
  • Make programmatic decisions (e.g., strategic allocation of limited funds to high-impact activities);
  • Identify opportunities for technical assistance or strategic collaboration; and
  • Identify and disseminate lessons learned to other communities.

Foundational Elements for Program Evaluation Planning, Implementation, and Use of Findings


Find out more about the Steps Program's Vision for Evaluation

Preventing Chronic Disease Cover

Read the entire article in Preventing Chronic Disease

  1. Distinguish between research and program evaluation.
  2. Define program evaluation.
  3. Use the Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health to inform evaluation planning.
  4. Seek cultural competence in program evaluation planning, implementation, and use of findings.
  5. Prepare a program logic model as a platform for evaluation planning, implementation, and use of findings.
  6. Identify the purpose of the evaluation.
  7. Identify intended users and uses of the evaluation.
  8. Identify key evaluation questions.
  9. Attend to process and outcome evaluation.
  10. Maximize use of existing surveillance systems for outcome measurement.

*Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be  inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at this link.

Page last reviewed: February 6, 2009
Page last modified: February 6, 2009
Content source: Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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