Recent Projects

Pasadena Public Health Department: WIC Roadmap

Evaluation Specialists worked with the Pasadena Public Health Department to pilot test a tool designed to communicate their Women, Infant and Children (WIC) offerings to their community.  We designed and conducted a series of facilitated discussions and focus groups with women across the County.  Findings describe strategies and recommendations for communicating WIC offerings to their target population. 

See the report

Santa Barbara Creative Communities Project

Evaluation Specialists worked with the Santa Barbara County Creative Communities Project to conduct intercept interviews with residents at 28 different locations. Findings describe residents’ interest in arts & culture, the value they ascribe to creative life, their level of participation, and barriers they perceive for involving themselves more deeply. Findings also provide insights into countywide differences in the arts & culture landscape between north and south county, English and Spanish-speaking residents, people who have young children vs. others who do not, different age groups, and different income levels.  

See the report

Santa Barbara Foundation Community Caregiving Initiative

Evaluation Specialists is engaged in a multi-year, mixed-methods evaluation supported by AARP.  This countywide effort is intended to help service providers learn about and better support family caregivers through four inter-connected strategies: 1) strengthening caregivers individually; 2) connecting community organizations and agencies to ensure caregivers can easily access supportive services; 3) creating new knowledge that will benefit caregivers; 4) raising awareness about caregiving and policy solutions that support  caregiving. 

See the Interim Report Summary

See the Interim Detailed Report


Emerging adults in substance misuse intervention

A team member published an article in Addiction Science and Clinical Practice examining drinking profiles among emerging adults (people aged 18 to 25), and transitions to lower risk profiles during the course of a a motivational enhancement program for reducing substance misuse.

See the report

Teaching older adults appropriate medication-taking practices

Evaluation Specialists recently completed an evaluation of a pilot program run by the American Association of Poison Control Centers.  The program was designed to teach older adults appropriate medication-taking practices.  Findings indicate that the program is a promising method of improving relevant behaviors.

See the report

Conducting evaluations as programs conclude

Evaluation Specialists recently published a summary of lessons learned in designing evaluations of programs as they conclude.

See report published in Foundation Review

Conference presentation on subgroup analysis

Team members presented at the American Evaluation Association’s convention on the benefits of analyzing differences between subgroups of people. The presentation included methodological and data visualization examples.

See our presentation slideshow

Assessing practical significance in intervention programs

An Evaluation Specialists team member published an article in Evaluation in the Health Professions comparing different methods of assessing the benefits of intervention programs in terms of their practically significance.

See the article abstract

Evaluation Capacity Building with Rape Prevention and Education Grantees

Evaluation Specialists provides evaluation capacity development activities to Washington state Rape Prevention and Education grantees. At the end of each of two years of activity, local programs successfully completed the required planning tasks, rated their evaluation capacity as improved at the end of the respective year, and reported increased confidence in their ability to conduct program evaluation.

See the Year 1 report

See the Year 2 report

Key ingredients for school food systems

We conducted a mixed-methods evaluation of the Orfalea Foundation’s School Food Initiative (SFI). Findings showed the initiative succeeded in improving food literacy and the quality of food served in the public schools of California’s Santa Barbara County.

Brain injury support program logic model

We worked with leadership and stakeholders of a brain injury support center to understand and document their theory of action. Rather than create a conventional logic model for this work, we designed a representation of their work that is accessible and visually interesting.

See a sample

Conference presentation on latent class analysis

Team members presented at the American Evaluation Association’s convention on a statistical method that identified subgroups of people based on multiple characteristics.

See our presentation slideshow

Evaluating an OAH teen pregnancy prevention program

Evaluation Specialists teamed with Susan Carter to evaluate the National Indian Youth Leadership Project’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, funded by the Office of Adolescent Health. We used sophisticated analytics, factor analysis, and propensity score matching to capture program effects.

See about propensity score matching, a method we used in this quasi-experimental design.

A guide for engaging in post-implementation evaluation

Evaluation Specialists recently designed and engaged in a mixed-methods evaluation of a program as it was coming to an end. We documented some key principles and practices important for evaluators and programs to consider in this kind of post-implementation evaluation work.

See our white paper

College alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use in New Mexico

Each year, Evaluation Specialists works with The New Mexico Higher Education Prevention Consortium and the University of New Mexico’s Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions to help them with the design and analysis of their annual student lifestyles survey. This survey measures student behavior and attitudes related to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use from almost 3,000 students across six colleges within the state.

See a recent report

Early childhood education program evaluation

The Evaluation Specialists team completed a qualitative evaluation of a community-level early childhood education initiative designed and implemented by the Orfalea Foundation. We conducted in-depth interviews with key stakeholders throughout the community. We also worked with the Foundation’s leadership to develop an evaluative rubric to determine the value and impact of each of the three prongs of the initiative.

See the report

Survey of LGBTQ youth

An Evaluation Specialists’ team member was the Principal Investigator of a University of Washington research project that surveyed LGBTQ youth across the United States. Three manuscripts have recently been published in scientific journals.

See an article about youth’s preference for services.

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