Judith M. Dunlop


Evaluating Youth Drop-In Programs: The Utility of Process Evaluation Methods


This ahead of print version may differ slightly from the final published version.

In North America, neighbourhood youth centres typically offer essential community-based programs to disadvantaged and marginalized populations. In addition to providing pro-social and supportive environments, they provide a host of educational and skill-development opportunities and interventions that build self-esteem, increase positive life relationships and experiences, and address social determinants of health. However, evaluators of such centres often have to work with moving changes in temporal components (i.e., service users, services, programs, and outcomes) that are unique and idiosyncratic to the mandate of the centre. Although there is an abundance of research on youth programs in general, there is a void in the literature on drop-in programs specifically, which this study aims to address. The lack of empirical research in this area inhibits knowledge about the processes of these centres. For this reason, the article concludes that process evaluation methods may be effectively used to substantiate the practice skills, knowledge, and managerial competencies of those responsible for program implementation.


Evaluating Inter-Organizational Approaches to Service Delivery: A Case Example of the Family Violence Service Project in Kent County, Ontario


Program evaluators are well versed on the difficulties and complexities involved in assessing programs in single-human-service organizations. This article describes a model that was effective in evaluating an inter-organizational program, the Family Violence Services project, which was administered collaboratively by two agencies in southwestern Ontario. The model included a sequential planning and implementation process, and much collaboration between the evaluation team, the. staff, and administrators of the project. The evaluation strategy was a qualitative-naturalistic one and utilized a conceptual framework derived from the literature oil inter-organizational relations. The article speaks to a distinct void in the literature on evaluating inter-organizational approaches to service delivery.