Home | Login | Search
 
166 Bedford Highway, Halifax, N.S., B3M 2J6  donald.shiner@msvu.ca

Project Evaluation

With over 120 partners and stakeholders, this project is based on numerous collaborative partnerships that have contributed to a dynamic participatory method of internal evaluation. The evaluation was conducted through the University of Prince Edward Island, coordinated by two project co-investigators: Dr. Lori Weeks and Dr. Judy Lynn Richards. The evaluation framework included both a process and outcome evaluation. The process evaluation enabled the Project Team to make adjustments to the project as a result of feedback from the stakeholder membership and partner organizations, focus group participants, and students. Challenges encountered during the project process and subsequent lessons learned (responses/solutions) were documented with feedback provided to the Project Team on a timely and ongoing basis. The final evaluation was prepared to enable the Project Team, partner organizations and stakeholder groups, as well as the funding agency to determine if the project goals and objectives were met with the anticipated outcomes, and identified unexpected outcomes.

Some of the key questions that were answered through the evaluation include the following:

  • How did the partnerships function? Who participated in the project and what was their level of involvement? Were initial expectations realized concerning the level of involvement in the project and the project outcomes? Indicators include (i) the number and characteristics of participants and (ii) participant satisfaction with their level of involvement (did actual involvement meet expectations?)
  • Was capacity built within academic disciplines, government, and community organizations as a result of this project? Did the CURA equip the community and non-profit organizations with methodological and project management skills? Did the grassroots knowledge of community stakeholders inform the design and implementation of the research at all stages? Indicators include (i) the number of individuals trained in survey support and focus group organization and facilitation, (ii) the number and characteristics of participants at the Regional Conference and their assessment of the conference, (iii) the number of curricula that incorporated project information, and (iv) participant assessments of their learning and identification of benefits accruing to them from the project.
  • Did students gain from their involvement in the project in terms of skills learned or experience gained? Indicators include (i) the number of students involved in the project, (ii) the type of training provided, and (iii) students’ satisfaction with their overall involvement, degree of mentoring, and perceived benefits to their education, skills, and career development.
  • Was new knowledge created? At what level did the model, data collection methods, and analytical techniques meet tests for accuracy and validity? Did the CURA process and reports lead to any change in policy? Were the research data used to develop a range of housing options within local communities and throughout the region? Indicators include (i) appropriate checks to ensure reliability and validity of methods used, (ii) the number and characteristics of focus group participants and key informants, (iii) the number of refereed journal articles produced, newsletter/nespaper articles, and media releases, (iv) the number of meetings/forums held where research findings were presented, (v) number and type of participants at conferences and participants’ assessment of project’s value, (vi) the number of policies identified by key informants that were implemented or influenced by the research findings, and (vii) assessments of the relevance of project reports by community stakeholders and others.
  • Were the stakeholder/umbrella groups created in each of the four Atlantic Provinces able to work toward the creation and implementation of innovative housing options? Were the resources identified to sustain,
    post-CURA, the collaborative framework of these groups? Did these groups continue to meet? Indicators include (i) the number, mandate, and membership of groups created during the CURA, (ii) the number of forums/presentations made by these groups, (iii) group members’ assessment of sustainability, and (iv) the number of groups that continue to meet 6 months following the end of the grant.

Methods that were used for data collection included evaluator observation, document review, pre and post surveys (training sessions and focus groups), and interviews (at the outset of the project and at the end of each phase) with collaborators and all project partners/stakeholders, students, and other key informants to the process. Both quantitative and qualitative information were collected. Quantitative information was collected on focus group participation, project reports completed, journal articles written, presentations made by partners, website hits, conference participation, level of student involvement in the project, and papers/theses written related to the project. Qualitative information was collected through interviews, surveys, and document review/analysis, and included perceptions of the impact, value, and usefulness of the ASHRA reports produced, the website (with downloadable reports), the training provided to stakeholder groups and partners, and student involvement/experience.

Data collection and analyses was ongoing, with quarterly evaluation updates to identify and facilitate any changes required to the project process. Evaluation reports were produced at the end of each phase, and distributed to the participants for feedback. A final evaluation report was prepared at the end of the research activities phases (2009). Contingent on funding availability, the evaluation may be extended to 6 months beyond the end of the project to begin to ascertain the sustainability of stakeholder groups and the longer-term impact on housing policy for seniors.

Copyright 2009. ASHRA. All rights reserved. Contact Us | Legal Notice | Site Map