By: Grace Fansler, MPH: Prevention and Education Program Coordinator
The evaluation of sexual violence prevention programs is an essential component to ending sexual assault in our communities. Program evaluation is a set of practices that helps us gauge the efficacy of our prevention programs. This summer, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) debuted an excellent resource for evaluating sexual violence prevention work. The purpose of the Evaluation Toolkit, which can be accessed here, is to “increase the capacity to implement program evaluation for sexual violence prevention work by providing tools and guidance for both program implementers and those who support them”. The toolkit equips state and local prevention workers with the skills to better strategize about evaluation efforts in a primary prevention context.
The Evaluation Toolkit is broken into 17 sections/topics and it is extremely comprehensive. Not only does the toolkit provide an in-depth understanding of evaluation approaches and strategies, but also dives into strategies for data collection, analysis, and interpretation. The toolkit also addresses common challenges faced by prevention workers by providing tips for working with external evaluators and tips for conducting evaluations with minimal resources. Throughout the toolkit, the NSVRC included outside links to other free and priced resources for further learning, as well as tools for implementation, such as worksheets.
The guide is exceptionally user friendly; it incorporates visuals, videos, and real life examples throughout the toolkit to further enrich learning. Readers can examine case studies, and utilize a supplementary 25-page Training & Capacity-Building Activities Guide, which can be accessed here. The Training & Capacity-Building Activities Guide details activities that can be used to train other professionals about evaluation capacity, planning, and data collection.
Although it may seem daunting at times, evaluating your prevention programs is necessary. The success of your program cannot be measured without engaging in evaluation. This invaluable tool developed by NSRV will hopefully supplement ongoing prevention efforts as we continue to fight sexual violence. Additionally, for more assistance with evaluation efforts please view MCASA’s Sexual Assault Prevention Evaluation Checklist here.
To view the Sexual Assault Prevention Evaluation Checklist, click here
To view the Training & Capacity-Building Activities, click here
To view the NSVRC Evaluation Toolkit, click here