Community-based behavioral health agencies seek to promote positive outcomes for individuals they serve. However, many agencies lack the capacity to collect evaluation or continuous quality improvement data, evaluate the impact of services, or communicate effectively about data. This makes it difficult for agencies to institute data-driven program changes, retain funding in an era of increasing accountability, or compete for new funds. In addition, agencies that lack capacity for program evaluation may also not have staff with essential data-related skills to adequately implement evidence-supported practices that require ongoing monitoring of program processes, outcomes, and impacts.
The Building Agency Capacity for Program Evaluation initiative addresses these issues by enabling up to five agencies in the Greater Philadelphia Area to receive evaluation training and consultation services for two years (July 2013 – June 2015) to build evaluation capacity within their organization. With support provided by the Thomas Scattergood Foundation, agencies receive training and consultation in practical program evaluation skills to track program processes and outcomes, and to communicate effectively about evaluation and quality assurance data. Training and consultation include: a) an overview of program evaluation, b) introduction to logic models and their uses, c) helping agencies identify program evaluation needs, goals, methods, and measures appropriate for their program; and, d) assisting agencies to identify organizational capacities and barriers to program evaluation capacity and sustainability. Unique features of this initiative are to tailor capacity building for program evaluation to the needs of individual agencies and to provide ongoing training and consultation to support changes in capacity across two years.
Agencies selected to participate in this initiative, will be provided with a combination of group training and individual consultation as follows: 1) group training of four half-days with up to 3 staff per agency during September, October, January, and May; 2) individual consultation and technical assistance for up to 8 staff to supplement group sessions for a total of three individual sessions of up to two hours each per agency that take place in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014; and, 3) ongoing phone and email consultation tailored to individual agency needs and circumstances. A modified but comparable combination of training and consultation is provided in the program’s second year.
Agencies of any size may apply to participate in this initiative because the emphasis will be on building agency capacity for one agency program. Agencies that submit an application will be expected to fully participate in all of the scheduled trainings and consultations.
Application Submission Requirements and Review Process
Agencies in the Greater Philadelphia Area seeking to participate in this initiative should submit responses using the downloadable word document attached below. Applications must be accompanied by a cover letter from the agency director or senior leadership that indicates the agency’s commitment to full program participation.
Please email completed applications by Friday, July 26th, 2013 to Alyson Ferguson at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance on August 12th, 2013. Agencies selected to participate will be expected to participate in the Evaluation Forum sponsored by the Foundation in October 2013.
Review of applications will be done by the consultants retained for the initiative, Drs. Jacob Tebes, Cindy Crusto, and Joy Kaufman from Yale University. Each consultant provided training and consultation services for the initiative this year.