Ready, set, go: Accelerating evaluation use through action plans

Session Number: 1669
Track: Use and Influence of Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: CDC, evaluation use
Session Chair: Sheri Barrera Disler [Evaluation Technical Advisor - CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL]
Discussant: Robin Kuwahara [Health Scientist - CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Holly Uphold [Epidemiologist/Evaluator - UDOH]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Jack Kinsey [Indiana State Department of Health]
Session Facilitator: Sheri Barrera Disler [Evaluation Technical Advisor - CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Stephanie George [Epidemiologist II/Program Evaluator - Utah Department of Health]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Judi Magaldi [Program Director - Indiana State Department of Health]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Amy Griffin [Senior Evaluation Consultant - Yale University]
Time: Nov 08, 2017 (04:30 PM - 06:00 PM)
Room: Taft

Abstract 1 Title: Evaluation Success: creating a culture of evaluation and implementing processes to ensure evaluation use
Presentation Abstract 1:

The Utah Asthma Program (UAP) has a notable history of working with partners and stakeholders when creating and implementing evaluation plans. These partnerships also include working together to use evaluation results to guide program changes. The Program is in year three of a five year grant cycle and is currently implementing a strategic evaluation plan that was made in conjunction with key stakeholders at the beginning of the project period. For each evaluation, an individual evaluation plan is created with relevant partners. As part of evaluation tracking for the CDC, the UAP has been documenting programmatic changes due to evaluation results and using several methods to ensure that changes are implemented and sustained. These include incorporating changes into annual work plans as relevant; creating informal, internal evaluation action plans; involving staff and partners in creating recommendations; and following up with partners and stakeholders to ensure evaluation results are being utilized.

Presentation 1 Other Authors: Kelly Baxter, Utah Department of Health Asthma Program
Abstract 2 Title: Action planning in action
Presentation Abstract 2:

The Indiana State Department of Health Asthma Program (Program) is funded by Cooperative Agreement with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Asthma Control Program (NACP). The NACP places heavy emphasis on conducting evaluation and building capacity to inform the effectiveness and efficiency of Program initiatives. To best use evaluation results, the Program developed a template for post-evaluation action planning. The template details clear objectives resulting from evaluation findings, and provides suggested actions, responsibilities and roles, timeline and frequency, by which actions can be taken to achieve maximum use of results. When used internally, the template serves as a roadmap for future program activities. Externally, the actions plan provides stakeholders a snapshot of areas of opportunity to strengthen and improve individual projects and organizations, and opens the door for productive brainstorming and program planning. This presentation provides an overview of the action plan template and document its use.

Presentation Abstract 3:

The Connecticut Asthma Program (CAP), housed within the Connecticut Department of Public Health, received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce asthma-associated morbidity and mortality, and to improve the quality of life for Connecticut residents living with asthma.

A major focus of the cooperative agreement involved creating a strategic evaluation plan (SEP) and prioritize individual evaluation activities to guide CAP over the five-year project period. The SEP process incorporates a participatory evaluation approach and involved forming a strategic evaluation planning team (SEPT) composed of diverse stakeholders to prioritize the CAP activities to be evaluated, design the evaluation plans, and assist with the data analysis and action planning.

This discussion will provide strategies for: facilitating a strategic evaluation planning process; collaboratively analyzing evaluation data with non-evaluators, and collaboratively developing action plans based on evaluation findings to facilitate implementation and use of findings.

Theme: Learning About Evaluation Use and Users
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Evaluation is important but there’s little sense in conducting evaluation if the findings are not going to be used. The sad truth is evaluation findings are often brushed aside or, even worse, ignored (Patton 2008). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Asthma Control Program requires state asthma programs evaluate prioritized activities.  Three funded programs (Utah, Indiana, and Connecticut) will describe how they coordinated evaluations through an internal or external evaluator and ensured their findings were used. Action planning was done as a team and responsibilities delineated around each of the findings, fostering a shared responsibility for program improvement. This coordinated plan of action helped program personnel take ownership for ensuring use of the findings. At the end of this session, participants will be equipped with action plan templates and real life examples of how effective stakeholder engagement can lead to collaborative action planning and evaluation use.