Insights

This perspective is brought to you by Keith Fultz, Nacy Fultz, and Maria Rapuano

THE SITUATION

You know that everyone in your program is working hard, but how do you know that progress is being made? How do you define and recognize success? Answering these questions might seem especially daunting when a program is implemented in multiple unique communities across the country.

APPROACH

A client needed help with developing an approach for monitoring and evaluating progress for a program that preserves and revitalizes communities. The communities in the program had the common goal of revitalizing properties and leveraging community resources to meet resident needs, but each community had different demographics, resident needs, and community resources to draw on. How could progress and results be measured across these diverse locations? Zelos was able to provide the answer: site-specific performance measurement.

What Is Performance Measurement and How Does It Help You?

Performance measurement is a process for monitoring and reporting program accomplishments measured against pre-established goals. Performance measurement provides you with the information you need to determine whether a program has met its objectives, allocate resources effectively, and to make informed policy decisions to improve service delivery and program effectiveness. It is not a snapshot in time; performance measurement is an ongoing process that can be used to continually monitor progress and highlight areas needing adjustment.

How Site-Specific Performance Measurement Works

Our analysis showed that a site-specific performance measurement model would make it possible for communities to tailor objectives, activities, metrics, and needs and resources assessments to meet their individual circumstances. But if every site used their own unique model, it would be almost impossible for the client to manage, monitor, and evaluate program operations. For performance measurement to work across the different sites, every community would have to use the same five-step process:

  1. Assess the site (needs and resources).
  2. Analyze data and set goals based on the data.
  3. Develop a site success plan.
  4. Implement the site success plan, including reporting on performance in a standardized format.
  5. Evaluate progress and make site-specific and program-wide adjustments to improve operations.

This model is flexible enough to be used by every community in the program, whether it focused on reducing crime or improving transportation. By using an adaptable model with standardized steps and reporting requirements, the client was able to meet community needs and collect data that could be used to measure performance and make adjustments to improve program operations.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The Zelos team can help you develop the right approach for monitoring and evaluating the progress of your organization’s unique programs.

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Why Evaluation Design Matters

This perspective is brought to you by Keith Fultz, Nacy Fultz, and Maria Rapuano WHETHER YOU ARE EVALUATING…