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  • A carefully planned evaluation can yield a range of useful information, from process data (relating to how your program operates) to outcome and impact data (describing effects on participants or systems). We conduct evaluations for many reasons, sometimes to achieve multiple ends at once. For example, an evaluation can justify past funding while showing where the program might be improved or what specific components account for its success. Evaluations also contribute to the field by adding to the body of literature on evidence-based programs.
  • The "ideal" (most rigorous) evaluation has an experimental design, using a control group and randomization to study conditions. Because of unique factors affecting research in the behavioral health field, evaluators sometimes must compromise and use a quasi-experimental or preexperimental design. Try to implement the most rigorous design you can given your constraints.
  • Attending to the quality of your research is exceptionally important if you want others to regard your conclusions as "evidence based" or scientifically sound. NREPP's rating criteria can be a helpful reference for understanding how research quality is measured.

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