Great news! The journal Health Promotion Practice (HPP) has featured our 2017 YES evaluation article in their Suggested Reading List. This is their first curated list featuring in the realm of Program Planning and Evaluation. It features the best of the last three years and classics in these areas. The list is intended to be useful to a broad audience, from faculty and students to practitioners and community organizers.
Assessing the quality of program implementation is often overlooked but can be extremely useful for understanding program findings and ultimately improving programs . It’s impossible to know if your program is working if you’re not sure if it was delivered as intended. Data collected on the quality of implementation also allows for identifying problem areas and program weaknesses to work towards real-time solutions.
Doing these assessments is challenging though. Program evaluators must often make tough decisions about what aspects of the implementation to measure to understand how well the program was delivered (overall quality of implementation). The result is often an inconsistent measurement of implementation quality across the field.
In Measuring the Implementation of Youth Empowerment Solutions, we present a practical approach to help program evaluators document and numerically measure the overall quality of program implementation. Understanding variation in the quality of implementation can help to understand and contextualize program results. For example, if a program does not achieve the desired behavioral outcomes, such as a reduction in problem substance use, evaluators can better assess if poor implementation contributed.
The article details the steps used in measuring the implementation of Youth Empowerment Solutions, as a model for assessing the overall implementation quality of public health interventions. We collected process evaluation data from 25 YES groups in 12 schools over a period of 4 years. Using these data, we present a measure for overall implementation quality, that draws together some of the most essential measures for aspects of implementation established in the literature. We discuss how we applied our measure to inform multiple changes to the YES Curriculum and new strategies to support improved implementation.