What We Do
STEPs provides participatory, utilization-focused evaluation to programs serving children, youth, and families in poverty.
With STEPs’ participatory approach, all program staff are engaged at some level in the evaluation. This approach increases authenticity to the work as well as buy-in for data collection and evaluation results.
As program staff actively engage in evaluation, they gain skills and are better equipped to provide quality services to clients. A participatory approach to evaluation invites engaged dialogue between evaluators and program stakeholders, and produces results that are effective and useful.
STEPs’ participatory approach is:
- Empowering – staff actively participate in the evaluation.
- Collaborative – staff have a voice in the evaluation.
- Transparent – evaluation reports are made available to and discussed with staff.
STEPs’ utilization-focused approach calls the questions: “Who is the evaluation for?” And “What will they do with it?” Evaluation methods are designed to maximize usefulness for the program. Through “process use,” programs can expect to learn not only from the results of the evaluation, but also from the process of doing the evaluation.
Using data visualization, evaluation results are easily understood. A utilization-focused approach moves programs toward evidence-informed decision making.