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ARI provides evaluation services by contract for a number of programs and organizations. Our evaluations are tailored to the specific needs of the researchers and the objectives of the project and rely on comprehensive data collection.
Program evaluations designed and/or carried out by the ARI team include: Paul W. Kaeser High School fitness program (2014), Fostering Open eXpression among Youth (FOXY) project evaluation (2011-2015), Aurora College Early Childhood Development program (2015-2020), and the DigitalNWT study (2019-2022).
- To collect robust evidence from programs that provides a clear picture of the program’s performance;
- To assess whether a program is meeting its own goals and outcomes;
- To make recommendations for the improvement of a program.
Evaluations can be undertaken throughout the territory, though data collection outside of Fort Smith requires travel, use of communications technologies, or data collection tools that are administered by program staff and returned to ARI for analysis.
Most evaluations blend aspects of outcome and process evaluations in order to provide findings and recommendations about the program’s success at achieving its goals as well as how the program functions. Developmental evaluation methods are helpful for designing evaluations for programs that are in development or operating in complex environments.
Mixed methods data collection are most common, including descriptive statistics, surveys, interviews, focus groups, document reviews, and observation.
The schedule for evaluations are flexible, according to the needs of the project. Multi-year evaluations allow for comparisons over time and demonstrate the impact of a program. Evaluations should be designed at the outset of a program, alongside the objectives, so that data can be collected throughout the year, particularly to measure growth in participants’ skills or knowledge.
University of Alberta