The challenge of reconciling scientific rigour with feasibility is central to the goals of policy and program evaluation for tobacco control. Evaluations conducted in various settings are held to high standards of performance, and must also be considered feasible by program authorities and stakeholders. This article describes three recent examples from the field of tobacco control. Issues of context, relevance, and stakeholder participation in planning evaluation designs are central to successful reconciliation.
An Illustration of a Methodology to Maximize Mail Survey Response Rates in a Provincial School-Based Physical Activity Needs Assessment
Two mail surveys were conducted as a province-wide needs assessment to examine the opportunities for, barriers to, and participation in physical activity in Ontario elementary and secondary schools. Dillman's Tailored Design Method (TDM) was used to maximize the quality of responses and the response rate. Both surveys entailed five mailings to key informants from randomly selected schools. The response rate among the 599 elementary and 600 secondary schools was 85% and 79%, respectively.