Brian Rush

Special Issue

The experience of developing a package of instruments to measure the critical characteristics of community support programs for people with a severe mental illness

Authors:
Pages:
159-166

A major challenge for program evaluators is to develop and use measures of program implementation that are both comprehensive and generalizable across programs. The goal is to understand how measures of program characteristics are related to outcomes and, ultimately, to improve program effectiveness. In this brief report, we describe our experience in developing a package of instruments to measure critical characteristics of community support programs for people with a severe mental illness. We highlight three primary methodological challenges encountered: ensuring comprehensiveness, attaining a common understanding of program boundaries, and incorporating multiple perspectives. Potential solutions are discussed. We conclude that, despite these challenges, the goal of model-free measures of program characteristics is essential to enable meaningful program comparisons and to substantiate important process- outcome links.

Spring

A peer support approach to evaluation: assessing supported employment programs for people with developmental disabilities

Authors:
Pages:
25-41

This article describes a peer support approach to evaluating outcomes within supported employment programs for people with developmental disabilities. Based on a model developed with seven agencies, peer support evaluation draws on insights from both internal and external evaluation. Each of the components of peer support evaluation is outlined. A case study of one agency's experience with peer support evaluation is described. The article concludes with several lessons drawn from implementation experience with several agencies, including the importance of training and support.

Fall

Program Logic Models: Expanding Their Role and Structure for Program Planning and Evaluation

Authors:
Pages:
95-106

Schematic representations of a program sometimes referred to as program logic models, have been used for a number of years as a means of' clarifying the purposes of a program and casual the assumptions on which it is based. This is paper discusses some of the benefits of expanding the structure of these logic models by clearly separating implementation and outcome objectives within the objectives hierarchy of the program. Benefits of constructing these logic models for program planning and other purposes are also discussed.