Evaluation and Monitoring 101
- The Evaluation and Monitoring 101 training has evolved over nearly a decade to meet the changing needs of Administration staff and address a growing federal interest in evidence-based decision making.
- The training roots all content in a framework that distinguishes between two categories of program assessment: (1) Performance monitoring and improvement, which refers to ongoing monitoring of program performance, and (2) Program evaluation, which refers to systematic studies to assess how well programs are working. Each category of program assessment is associated with different methods that can help staff answer different types of questions to advance the ACF mission.
- OPRE is committed to incorporating participant feedback to continuously improve the Evaluation and Monitoring 101 training and collects participant feedback both during and after each training course. OPRE staff report that the Evaluation and Monitoring 101 training has led to meaningful, sustained collaboration with program offices. The training may also serve as a model for other agencies looking to improve data collection and analysis practices to ultimately improve service delivery.
The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), offers an annual Evaluation and Monitoring 101 training to develop ACF staff skills to assess program performance and impact. This brief describes the training’s history, content, and learning outcomes, as well as OPRE’s approach to continuously improving the training based on participant feedback. The brief also orients readers to OPRE’s program assessment framework, which is intended to help ACF staff understand which types of program assessment are most relevant based on the questions staff are most interested in.