Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Grant Activity: Current Activity Impacting Communities

Starting Year 3 of Building Agency Capacity for Evaluation

The Yale Evaluation Group at The Consultation Center, Yale School of Medicine and the Thomas Scattergood Behaivoral Health Foundation kicked-off the third year of Building Agency Capacity for Program Evalaution on Monday, October 21st. The Yale Evaluation Group and the Foundation invited all the current and past organizations to attend and discuss how this project has helped to impact their organization. The organizations in attendance included:

  • 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University
  • Children’s Crisis Treatment Center
  • Mercer Street Friends – West Ward Alliance
  • Northern Children’s Services
  • Broad Street Ministry Collaborative Hospitality Initiative
  • Child Protection Program (CPP) at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
  • Health Federation of Philadelphia/Multiplying Connections
  • Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania
  • Pathways to Housing PA
  • Project HOME 

  • COMHAR Children’s Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services
  • JEVS Human Services
  • Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative
  • Philadelphia Horticulture Society
  • Turning Points for Children 

The Yale Evalution Group shared a summarizing progress report from the first two years of the initiative Building Agency Capacity in Program Evaluation. Funded by the Scattergood Foundation, the initiative combines group training and individual consultation in program evaluation to Greater Philadelphia Area agencies in the behavioral health service system or that seek to promote behavioral health.

Building Agency Capacity in Program Evaluation addresses a common problem among human service agencies: insufficient capacity to collect, analyze, and report data about services provided that can be used for data-driven decision making. This is especially acute for behavioral health services because of heavy external demands for accountability, fierce competition for funding, and traditional underfunding of program evaluation and quality improvement services. As a result, many behavioral health agencies lack the capacity to collect evaluation or continuous quality improvement data, evaluate the impact of services, or communicate effectively about data to staff, funders, and the public. This makes it difficult for agencies to institute data-driven program changes, retain funding in an era of increasing accountability, or compete successfully for new funds. Finally, although agencies may have staff with the background to carry out evaluation activities, the organizational challenges in obtaining reliable, valid, and useful evaluation data for decision making are significant, and often require additional training and support.

Target populations served by the 15 organizations: