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Phoenix Rising: Use of a participatory approach to evaluate a federally funded HIV, Hepatitis and substance abuse prevention program

  • Dryden, Eileen
  • Hyde, Justeen
  • Livny, Ayala
  • Tula, Monique
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    This paper highlights the value of utilizing a participatory evaluation approach when working with community agencies receiving federal funding for prevention and intervention services. Drawing from our experience as evaluators of a SAMHSA-funded substance abuse, HIV and Hepatitis prevention program targeting homeless young adults, we describe the importance of and strategies for creating a participatory evaluation partnership with program implementers. By participatory evaluation we mean the active involvement of program implementers in defining the evaluation, developing instruments, collecting data, discussing findings, and disseminating results. There are a number of challenges faced when using this approach with federally funded programs that require the use of standardized measurement tools and data collection procedures. Strategies we used to strike a balance between federal requirements and local needs are presented. By increasing the understanding of and participation in the evaluation process, program implementers have greater support for data collection requirements and are appreciably more interested in learning from the evaluation data. This approach has helped to build the capacity of a program and stimulated new possibilities for learning, growing, and ultimately improving the services offered to those the program strives to reach.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V7V-4YGHGSN-3/2/0f7cbddd54c76e8d18cd269a22cb9ba8
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Evaluation and Program Planning.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 386-393

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:33:y:2010:i:4:p:386-393
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/evalprogplan

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    1. Atkinson, Donna Durant & Wilson, Maurice & Avula, Deepa, 2005. "A participatory approach to building capacity of treatment programs to engage in evaluation," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 329-334, August.
    2. Mulvey, Kevin P. & Atkinson, Donna Durant, 2005. "Evaluation efforts in the era of federal accountability," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 325-327, August.
    3. Scarinci, Isabel C. & Johnson, Rhoda E. & Hardy, Claudia & Marron, John & Partridge, Edward E., 2009. "Planning and implementation of a participatory evaluation strategy: A viable approach in the evaluation of community-based participatory programs addressing cancer disparities," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 221-228, August.
    4. Brooks, Ronald A. & Milburn, Norweeta G. & Jane Rotheram-Borus, Mary & Witkin, Andrea, 2004. "The system-of-care for homeless youth: perceptions of service providers," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 443-451, November.
    5. Wilson, Maurice T. & Atanda, Robert & Atkinson, Donna Durant & Mulvey, Kevin, 2005. "Outcomes from the targeted capacity expansion (TCE) substance abuse treatment program," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 341-348, August.
    6. Papineau, Danielle & Kiely, Margaret C., 1996. "Participatory evaluation in a community organization: Fostering stakeholder empowerment and utilization," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 79-93, February.
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