Over at the blog E-VALUATION, Sandra Mathison, in her post what is impact evaluation?, compiles a set of links to definitions and interpretations of impact evaluation and explores how it varies from outcomes.
Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center, just released an update containing research, instruments and guidance for measuring the impact of some out-of-school programs. The brief, entitled New Guides for Measuring Outcomes in Out-of-School Time Programs, provides links to:
1) a report on methods to help educators, service professionals and families identify and assist those youth coping with stress for the purposes of minimize risk for negative physical health and/or behavioral issues, and
2) a report on self-regulating (impulse control) of behavior, how to encourage the development of such skills and assessments to measure the presence of these skills in youth.
The Child Trends website is an excellent source of data and research studies on children and their development for service professionals, policy analysts, grant-writers, program developers, evaluators and families.
Are you in need of resources for empirically determining the impact of a nonprofit initiative? Check out the recently launched Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact (TRASI) website. This site, the culmination of a partnership between The Foundation Center and McKinsey & Co., features assessment approaches developed by and for a wide range of not-for-profit organizations. TRASI is described as “an online portal of resources for impact assessment” that includes a selection of podcasts and videos, as well as the more traditional section of articles and a searchable database of methodologies for measuring the effect of programming in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector.
So, put on your research hat and visit the TRASI community to learn about all sorts of strategies for measuring your impact on the community.
Interested in hanging out your own shingle? Yesterday’s post, Judah Viola on Building Capacity to Succeed as an Independent Consultant at AEA 365, the American Evaluation Association’s tip-a-day blog for and by evaluators discusses the path to building a consulting business.
In addition to a strong academic background (training in intermediate to advanced research methods is often a prerequisite to evaluation work), practical evaluation experience and a presence in a professional network can make the transition to independent consultant a smoother one.
Additional tips and a list of resources are included in the post by Judah Viola.