The CES Research and Evaluation Department offers consulting services and expertise for schools, coalitions, municipalities and community-based organizations in:
- Program planning, design, and improvement: Applying data and research
- Evaluation design, implementation, and reporting
- Survey design, data collection, and analysis
- Building your internal evaluation capacity
We can provide brief consultations or more extensive planning and evaluation work.
Program Planning, Design, and Improvement: Applying Data and Research
We work with clients in the early stages of program design or planning, to help clarify the desired program outcomes, define the program’s strategy, and determine which processes will best achieve the program’s goals.
We can guide clients in using data and research to develop or improve their programs, and help develop a plan for program evaluation. We help clients think through both process and outcome evaluations, and incorporate the use of both qualitative and quantitative data.
Evaluation Design and Implementation
Evaluation design involves deciding which evaluation or research questions you want to answer, and determining how to answer these questions. A careful evaluation design helps program managers assess progress, identifies barriers and facilitators, determines whether the evidence of progress is valid and reliable, and allows staff to make adjustments in order to enhance future effectiveness. We offer support in both the design and the implementation of evaluation plans, as well as documenting outcomes and creating reports that may be required for stakeholders, partners, and funders.
An effective grant application often requires a well-designed evaluation plan. We are happy to consult with you during the grant writing process to develop a plan for evaluating the proposed program.
Survey Design, Data Collection, and Analysis
Data collection throughout the life of the program is crucial to determining the program’s success. We offer support with designing and implementing methods of data collection, and with analyzing the information they yield, including:
- Paper or online surveys
- Focus groups
- Telephone or in-person interviews
- Impact data such as test scores, graduation rates, program completions, etc.
Building Your Internal Evaluation Capacity
If your goal is to build internal evaluation capacity, we are ready to assist with training and support for:
- Funders on results-oriented funding
- Grantees on outcome-oriented program design, evaluation planning and data collection and use
- Educators and district administrators on data use, student growth measures, educator evaluation
Experienced professionals with a track record for supporting evaluation work
We have provided evaluation support to programs, organizations, and school districts for their work in early childhood, special education, vocational-technical education, positive behavioral intervention and supports, social-emotional learning, district-determined measures, professional development, and educator licensure programs.
We have also worked with schools and community organizations promoting healthy youth development and healthy communities using the Strategic Prevention Framework, including:
- South Hadley, Northampton, and Easthampton school districts and their Prevention Coalitions
- Cooley Dickinson Hospital
- Easthampton Health Department
- Casa Latina
Support for this work has included technical assistance, survey development and administration, data analysis, development of social norms campaigns, and outcome evaluations.
Networking and Resources
Through contact with other evaluators locally and nationwide, the CES staff have an understanding of what other organizations may be able to offer. We create specialty networks and can link clients to appropriate research and evaluation resources. We maintain memberships in the American Evaluation Association and the American Educational Research Association, and participate in forums, webinars, and other venues for sharing information.
The CES Approach
CES Research and Evaluation staff have the skills and experience to
- Customize our work to meet individual client needs
- Foster capacity building so that clients develop the structures and skills they need to internalize evaluative functions, and
- Ensure that evaluations are useful for program improvement.
Integrating evaluation throughout the program development and implementation process promotes outcome-oriented planning and implementation -- a backward planning process that ensures that program design is strategically connected to the intended outcomes.
Existing programs can also find value in evaluation assistance, including consultation on strategic planning, data-informed program improvement, evaluation design and implementation, outcome data analysis, and reporting.
American Evaluation Association
American Educational Research Association
What Works Clearinghouse
Child Trends Blog: Evaluating School Initiatives for Better Outcomes
Innovation Network/Point K Learning Center: Resources for Evaluation