Consider who might do an evaluation of that program (RUPAS). Can the evaluation be done by an internal evaluator? If so, would that be a member of the FM staff?
Evaluators are responsible for undertaking evaluations pertaining to their individual training, skills, and expertise. Professional evaluators undergo training and academic programs to enhance their evaluation skills and appropriate sensitivities (Alkin, 2011). The evaluation for RUPAS program can be done by either an external or internal evaluator. To avoid bias, the evaluator should be external from RUPAS. The evaluator should be external and not part of the RUPAS program. However, the evaluator should be someone with some knowledge on the program. Thus, since FM genuinely supports RUPAS, the evaluator should be internal to FM.
Would that suit the purposes that Amy Wilson has in mind?
Amy Wilson is aware of the prerequisites of evaluation as she embarks on the new grant funding. Since evaluation gets done in diverse ways, the particular method to be applied is specified with consideration to the primary role and purpose of the assessment. Evaluation enables an organization to understand their program better and foster organizational change. Since Amy Wilson have had a funding for the past two years, gathering information through program evaluation for the following two years will be easy and her purposes will be met.
Would an external evaluator be more appropriate?
An external evaluator is usually considered in cases where bias is probable and where the organization may want to keep a distance. However, it is worth noting that hiring an external evaluator will require extra funds. Amy Wilson should have available funds set aside for hiring an external evaluator. It should not be a problem since the program has two years before seeking more funds. This duration is enough to set aside funds and also get exposure on the prerequisites of the evaluation process. My opinion is favored towards having an external evaluator since it will prevent bias. Although additional funds might be incurred, the quality of the evaluation will likely be better.
For the purposes of the rest of the exercises, assume that there is an external evaluator.
Whom do you believe to be the primary stakeholders?
Stakeholders in the evaluation include clients, staff, and participants. In the case of RUPAS, the primary evaluators are Amy Wilson, the founding staff, funding agencies and the parents. The evaluators work with individuals representing these stakeholders groups (Alkin, 2011
What other stakeholders would it be important to get information from?
Other than the primary stakeholders, other parties who who have a keen interest and attention towards the evaluation and have the will to make improvements to the program based on the evaluation should be considered. An example includes the parent leaders since they basically represent the parents as well as the children.
Are there others whose views should be included?
The recruiters, teachers and community leaders should also be considered. However, priorities must be established on how to deal with the various stakeholders since they have diverse opinions, inputs, and influence. This expanded participation and engagement leads to increased knowledge, appreciation, and benefits.
Consider that you are the external evaluator of the RUPAS program. What aspects of your resume are potentially beneficial in helping to gain credibility?
During my internship programs and other contractual tenures, I have had the chance to engage with many activities similar or close to evaluation. Most of the skills and expertise learned is applicable to the process of evaluation. I was involved with such activities as assessments and collection of data, which are also vital to evaluation.
What personal experiences have you had that enable you to better relate to the context and to the various stakeholders?
I have been actively involved in facilitating the accreditation team in our college. This has exposed me to exclusive data collection, assessment, and evaluation. Additionally, I have been part of many stakeholder groups and have also been involved with admission, enrollment, and orientation of new students. I have interacted and worked with diverse parties such as parents, students, accreditors, alumni and teachers thereby expanding my exposure.
Examine the communication skills listed in the section recap and reflect on your personal strengths and areas for further improvement.
I have actively been involved with many programs for the past years. As a result, I have developed a wide range of communication skills through exposure, participation and interaction with diverse parties. I have therefore gained various skills related to personal demeanor, humor with empathy and understanding the program context. However, I still feel there is much more I need to learn and incorporate in my communication skills. it includes understanding other people when communicating with them to ensure I don’t hurt their feeling or reply in a way that they may not be able to fully understand.
In thinking about the organizational, social, and political context for the RUPAS case, consider the aspects of the FM organization that might affect the evaluation.
What factors immediately stand out?
The organizational, social and political context is usually directly connected to a programs founder, in this case Amy Wilson and her colleagues. They came up with the idea and thereafter developed the context of RUPAS. All those employed afterwards were all influenced by what was put in place by these primary founders. Since most of the staff are educated women, a great connection have stood out making the program a great success. RUPAS, being a social program, have worked hard towards helping parents to nurture and develop their children.
What are the characteristics of the communities that might affect the success of the RUPAS program?
Since the RUPAS program is mostly social-oriented, the most significant communities are those whose organization, social and political features have been inhibited. This typically prevails in communities where childhood education resources are missing, women are restricted in their activities, minimal socialization takes place, infrastructure is wanting, state-run day care centers are missing and there are minimal retail outlets.
What other organizational, social, or political aspects of the context might be relevant?
In my opinion, the educational level of the families residing in the community should be considered as it affects how people live and interact socially and politically with each other.
Use the headings in the first part of the recap, where appropriate, to summarize what you know about the RUPAS program.
What We Need to Know about Programs – following is a recap of the questions asked:
- Amy Wilson serves as the director of FM which caters for under-served populations. The RUPAS program aims towards promoting the curriculum and training parents on how to nurture their children.
- The main function of the program is assisting parents to better nurture and interact with their children for an enhanced development. The programs also aims towards creating a better interaction between parents, teachers and children to facilitate education in the community and better performance.
-Who is served?
- The RUPAS program aims to serve the under-served populations through enhanced organizational, social and political interactions in the remote rural communities of Washington State.
- The program offers workshop events and training to parent educators. These parent educators then volunteers and educates other parents.
- The RUPAS staff and volunteers also promote the program and train parents to be parent educators who can there after form their own groups and train more parents in the community.
– What is not in the program?
- Amy Wilson serves as the director of FM. Although she is fully responsible for the entire organization, it is not clearly stipulated how long she commits to the RUPAS program. This is also the same case with volunteers. During evaluation, this information is very critical.
- The program lacks Spanish language materials and its outreach for Latino families have been limited concerning certain considerations such as that those families may fall under migrants or permanent residents category with their own fixed schedules.
- Allocation of funds in the RUPAS program is not clear and transparent. It is also unclear on whether FM has contributed any stake towards funding the program.
– What else do you need to know, and how would you go about getting that information?
- Amy Wilson serves as the director of FM. Thus, she is fully responsible for the entire organization. Since the RUPAS program will be seeking additional funds for a period of two years, she is obliged to gain more information concerning program evaluation.
- To fully understand the program, the evaluator should review the programs strategic plan, objectives of the program, the set goals and overall intent of the program. The set financial overview should also be made available to the evaluator and any other essential guidelines.
- All other documents and materials vital to the program should be provided including handouts, academic achievements, organizational charts, job descriptions and skills required.
The evaluator should also interview the FM director and RUPAS program staff for additional primary information.
Some activities that take place in the RUPAS program are: create booklets, identify Parent Leaders, organize parents in a community, organize community meetings, supervision by RUPAS staff.
Are these all of the activities? What else would you add?
The activities included are not exhaustive. Other activities that ought to be considered include reaching out to more surrounding regions, providing additional programs to the parents and introducing new skills during the workshop events.
What do you believe to be the short-term outcomes related to activities or groupings of activities?
Short-term outcomes are those expected within a few years into the program. The short-term outcomes in this context include enhanced interaction and socialization activities within the community. The party encompassing parents, teachers and children should also have an increased bonding and interactions as they share same resources and spend much time together.
What is the goal or expected long-term outcome of the program?
There are various long term outcomes expected out of the program. One major long term outcome is the increased health of children among the community. The children will also have an enhanced interaction with their parents, as well as their teachers. Thus, instances of abuse will decrease due to the positive interaction. The children will therefore have better reading skills and improve in their studies.
Alkin, M. (2011). Evaluation essentials from A to Z (1st ed., pp. 33-79). New York: Guilford Press.