A Guide for Developing and Enhancing Community Oral Health Programs  
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Step 5. Evaluate the Program
 

A. Determine How the Evaluation Will Be Used

The question is not whether programs should be evaluated but rather how to evaluate them. Information that reveals whether the program is achieving intended results is essential. Evaluation of a program needs to begin on the day the program begins. Evaluation accomplishes several important tasks, including

  • Helping staff understand what is working, what is not working, and why
  • Providing managers with information that enables them to make program adjustments
  • Permitting periodic evaluations of program activities and progress toward achieving program outcomes
  • Helping to ensure support from policy and funding entities

An ongoing evaluation process facilitates fine-tuning and allows programs to make important changes quickly to improve outcomes. Evaluation also provides data that can be used to support program continuation, enhancement, or expansion. Evaluation results are of interest to a wide variety of stakeholders and will serve to keep them engaged in and committed to the program’s success. A useful evaluation-planning resource is the Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health featured in the September 1999 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Table of Contents Appendices AACDP References Home Appendices References Conclusion Step 6 Step 5 Step 4 Step 3 Step 2 Executive Summary Overview Step 1 Acknowledgements