Program Evaluation & Development
We are regularly called upon to conduct evaluations of services and systems and assist with program development. Our projects in this area range from designing programs; to evaluating programs during development in order to make early improvements; to reviewing established programs to help decide whether to continue, expand or end a program, help refine or improve it, or assess the outcomes and long term impacts that have resulted from the programs’ activities. Our evaluations provide insights that are practical for program improvement, policy development, collective learning, knowledge exchange, and coordinating efforts for stronger impact on a shared goal.
- Assist with evidence-based program development
- Engage key stakeholders in program evaluation and design
- Help you define your evaluation questions
- Develop theories of change by examining the underlying assumptions related to the program to understand how it is expected to work
- Develop program logic models, which graphically capture the activities and goals of the program
- Develop an evaluation design that is credible and balances rigour with practical constraints
- Collect and analyze data using a variety of methods
- Synthesize the findings in user-friendly reports
- Provide recommendations based on the findings.
As an outcome of the evaluation of the Region of York’s Homelessness Prevention Program, the Region of York decided to update its service delivery model for the program. It retained Vink Consulting to assist with this work. The project involved:
- Consultations on the Region’s vision for the program moving forward, potential approaches to addressing the recommendation changes identified in the evaluation, and options for program delivery
- Research into organizations using best practice tools and approaches in other jurisdictions
- An assessment of service delivery model options being considered, and
- Recommendations to improve the services delivery provided to residents through the Homelessness Prevention Program.
The project resulted in the approval of a new service delivery model for the program that has greater integration with other parts of the homelessness service system and adopts of a number of tools that are considered effective practices in homelessness prevention.
Over a three-year period, Vink Consulting worked as evaluation consultant for the Adoption Council of Canada to evaluate its Finding Permanency for Vulnerable Children and Youth with Disabilities initiative. This initiative was a three-year project that addressed the need to identify, share and develop best practices which help find and support permanent families for Canada’s vulnerable children and youth. Our role involved developing a logic model and preparing an evaluation framework for the project, developing data collection tools, preparing regular formative evaluation reports which offered advice throughout the project to facilitate ongoing evaluation of the projects’ components, and preparing a final summative evaluation report. We played a key role in helping the Adoption Council of Canada better understand how well the project was working and which aspects were not working as well as hoped and why. Our advice also helped the organization modify its approaches to make the project more effective.
In 2015, the Regional Municipality of York engaged Vink Consulting to conduct an evaluation of the Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) delivered by two non-profit service providers in the community. The primary goal of HPP is to deliver financial assistance to York Region residents who are homeless, living in a temporary shelter or at risk of losing their housing in order to obtain and maintain their housing. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess effectiveness and efficiency of the program and determine opportunities to strengthen the program. The evaluation involved both primary and secondary research, including a document review, review and analysis of program administrative data and data from comparator programs, a review homelessness prevention programs in comparator municipalities, and over three dozen interviews with municipal staff, service providers, landlords, and program participants. The evaluation demonstrated the strong success of the program, and identified a number of recommendations to further strengthen access and delivery processes, data collection, and awareness of the program.
Vink Consulting was retained by Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre to conduct an evaluation of its Adult Day Program for individuals diagnosed with a dementia. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the program against identified program outcomes and provide recommendations for actionable areas moving forward. We were responsible for the full scope of evaluation activities, including: updating and refining the program logic model; preparing an evaluation framework; developing the data collection tools; data collection (i.e. surveys, interviews, and focus groups) and analysis; and the development of recommendations based on findings. As part of the work, we conducted comprehensive interviews with comparator adult day program providers in order to identify and highlight innovative and promising practices for adult day programs that the organization could consider adopting.
In 2013 Vink Consulting completed a formative evaluation of East York East Toronto Family Resources’ RENT (Resources Exist for Networking and Training) Program. The RENT program provides networking, training, and capacity building to housing help workers in Toronto. The purpose of the evaluation was to review what was working well and what could be improved, and to help inform what supports and services it should offer its members in the future. The evaluation was intended to be both reflective and future focused. It incorporated a mix of evaluative techniques as well as significant stakeholder engagement and participatory involvement in the process.