If you work or volunteer at a rape crisis center then you believe that you and the agency can make a difference in a person’s life, change society norms, and do a greater good. But how do you really know? Does your agency make a difference in the community in which it exists? Did your responding to the needs of the survivor at the hospital or advocating for the survivor during the judicial proceedings make a difference in their life? Facilitating another MyStrength club, In Touch With Teens program, or self defense class; did these activities decrease potential incidents of violence. Can your agency justify its existence and the expenditure of $200,000, $500,000, $800,000 or 2 million in public and private dollars to operate?
It is not enough to just simply say “I believe that we are making a difference.” It is prudent to have evidence (e.g. data, documentation, studies) to support the theory that rape crisis centers and their programs do make a difference in a survivor’s life and the environment in which we live.
Not every program, service or project at an agency will produce the intended outcomes. Having mulitple effective measurement tools can assist you in identifying what works and what needs to be retooled.
What type of evaluation tools do you utilize to gauge services or programs?
If you apply measurement tools, what do you do with the data that is collected?
Applying the appropriate measurement tools, collecting, interpreting and regurgitating the data can provide crucial information that can be used internally and by stakeholders.
I would not have invested 22 years of my existence on this earth working and volunteering at rape crisis centers if I did not believe the center could make a difference. In conjunction with your believe of a greater good; have in your file cabinet or on data storage device evidence of what you claim. Use the comment box below to share what evaluation tools you use to measure your agency’s services and programs.