The UCP Evaluation Program facilitates and supports activities related to research, strategic learning, evaluation, and performance tracking of our community programs.
Collaborating closely with program managers and staff across the UCAR Community Programs, the goal of the UCP Evaluation Program is to improve program management, ensure accountability, and foster organizational learning. By providing resources for developing, implementing, and monitoring appropriate effectiveness indicators, the UCP Evaluation Program works to promote the systematic assessment of programmatic initiatives and build the evaluation capacity to implement evidence-based, accountable programs.
Below are some of the evaluation services we offer and a brief description of how they have been used to support the community programs.
Development of program logic models and theories of change
Logic models are useful tools for describing how programs operate to achieve their goals. By visually displaying connections between the resources provided, activities implemented, products offered, customers served, and outcomes expected, a logic model helps managers clearly articulate the value of their programs. Within UCP, logic models have been developed for The GLOBE Program and previously for the National Science Digital Library, providing a framework for describing program efforts and how they lead to program impacts.
Technical assistance in developing and improving data collection tools
Systematic data collection that reports on both program activities and outcomes is critical for informing strategic planning and management. UCP offers a full continuum of services that include (1) developing and piloting new data collection instrument, (2) data collection and analysis, (3) preparing and presenting briefings, and (4) preparing final reports that provide recommendations based on data findings. The following data collection tools have been developed and piloted for a number of programs and projects under the UCP umbrella:
- Observational protocols
- Online surveys
- Focus groups
- Individual interviews
- Rubric development
- Needs assessment
- Comparative analysis data collection
Evaluation training and capacity building
Researchers within the UCP Evaluation Program have hosted training workshops to assist programs in developing internal capacity for monitoring and evaluating their programs. These workshops generally last two days and are interactive, giving participants an opportunity to develop logic models, performance measures, and outcome worksheets that track the number and various types of outcomes associated with program activities.