JRSA Staff Assist DC Grantees with Evaluation Capacity
Since December of 2013, JRSA staff Drs. Shawn Flower and Carrie Williamson have been working with District of Columbia grantees as part of a project entitled Building Capacity for Performance Measurement and Evaluation (BCPME), funded by the Washington, DC, Office of Justice Grants Administration and Victim Services (OJGAVS). The purpose of the project is to increase the performance measurement and evaluation capacity of grantees by developing a set of common, meaningful performance measures for three key funding areas. Grantees working in the areas of youth, female reentry, and victim services were selected by OJGAVS to participate.
JRSA staff collaborated with OJGAVS' grantees to determine the best way to measure program accomplishments. Towards this end, Drs. Flower and Williamson held a series of workshops and site visits to discuss how three groups of grantees define program activities and outcomes. For example, the term "case management" encompasses a range of activities for grantees working in reentry, and includes differing levels of time and resource investment. The workshops also included discussions of current data sources and collection methods, including the use of intake and closure forms, screening tools, risk assessments, and caseworker notes. From these discussions, JRSA staff developed common measures for each of the three groups, which will be used by OJGAVS for the current grant reporting period.
One of the goals of the project is to build a collaborative learning environment among providers offering similar services and targeting similar or the same populations. During the workshops, grantees were able to compare their referral processes, data collection procedures, and approaches to common challenges. To further encourage dialogue among the grantees, JRSA staff constructed a website accessible by stakeholders that allows them to submit questions and includes a contact list for other BCPME service providers.
Data collected through this process will be used to inform OJGAVS' strategic planning and future funding support. For more information about the project, contact Carrie Williamson at firstname.lastname@example.org.