The HCA team is well informed of current evaluation approaches and issues through our participation in local and regional evaluation interest groups and international evaluation computer networks, and by participating in and leading workshops presented by the Canadian Evaluation Society, we also provide graduate level instruction in program evaluation and regularly present at national and international conferences on the topic.
We approach evaluation using outcome, or results-based methods; that is, assessing the ability of programs to achieve their desired outcomes. A typical results-based approach examines program inputs, outputs, outcomes and impact in order to determine whether the desired outcomes can, and/or are likely to be achieved through the implementation of the program. This includes assessments of the:
We also ensure that appropriate indicators are selected for each of the issue areas of rationale, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and equity. Finally, we note the importance of distinguishing between formative (short term process oriented) evaluation questions and those associated with summative (long term outcomes, impacts) issues.
Of particular relevance is our experience in the following areas: