Research & Evaluation
How do you know if your efforts are working? What can be done to improve? What evidence is informing this program? These are the questions we can help you answer.
We help you plan and conduct an evaluation of your programming, or function as an external evaluator. Our dynamic firm works efficiently across the US and internationally by utilizing cutting edge technology such as online conferencing, webinars, and cloud computing to meet you where you are at.
Creating and implementing projects that meet client needs with rigor and intention
Our team is experienced in designing and managing research and evaluation projects, ranging from nation-wide multi-site studies to small non-profit program evaluations.
For over twenty years, our staff have been at the forefront of prevention research, and are often looked to as national experts in preventing social and behavioral health problems. We are leaders in utilizing diverse methods to encourage and improve community engagement in prevention activities.
in Research & Evaluation
Tags: Foundation, Research, Evaluation, California
Blue Shield of California Foundation: Breaking the Cycle Statewide Evaluation
The BTC initiative is centered on funding current promising practices that address the intergenerational needs of California families and communities to break the cycle of domestic violence. Our evaluation supports BSCF's goals to understand at the initiative level what can be learned about the funded approaches' potential for primary and secondary prevention of domestic violence. An additional key question is understanding what resources these promising practices need to successfully evaluate their efforts in order to prevent domestic violence and sustain effective outcomes.
SPS serves in two vital roles on behalf of BSCF:
Provide TA to grantees on evaluation so they may collect evidence of project specific and initiative wide impact as well as data for program improvement. This includes assessing the current capacity of each grantee to evaluate their prevention programming and tailoring technical assistance to grantee capacity, ensuring grantees are addressing initiative-wide indicators of multi-generational outcomes, and coordinating and providing TA to site-specific evaluators.
Cross-site evaluation to synthesize learnings of the two-generation approach and identify common outcomes across promising prevention approaches. The cross-site evaluation activities identify ongoing evaluation support needs, and technical assistance activities increase the capacity of grantees to answer project-specific and initiative-wide evaluation questions.
Tags: Foundation, Research, Evaluation, California
Blue Shield of California Foundation: Safety Through Collaboration and Leveraging Collaboration Evaluation
SPS supports the Foundation in evaluating the lessons that emerge from the Safety Through Connection and Leveraging Collaboration to End Domestic Violence cohorts. SPS develops and conducts a learning evaluation that informs grantees, funders, and the field of violence prevention about how collaboration can advance system changes and prioritize prevention. The results of this project are shared through a Storytelling project to creatively present findings.
Tags: Webinar, Evaluation, Nationwide
CALCASA Prevent Connect National Evaluation
PreventConnect is a national project of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and RALIANCE. The goal of PreventConnect is to advance the primary prevention of sexual assault and relationship violence by building a community of practice among people who are engaged in such efforts. PreventConnect has engaged SPS as the new evaluator for their national technical assistance and training. We administer surveys to understand the needs of practitioners and conduct interviews with a sample of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence (SV) grantees. We synthesize survey data and interview findings to present a clear picture of the effect of PreventConnect activities, trends over time, and recommendations for improvement.
Tags: Place-based, Alaska, Idaho, Native Tribe, Violence Prevention
Promising Futures: SEARHC, Idaho, and Cook Inlet Region
SPS is the contracted external evaluator for three of the grantees funded to implement the federal Promising Futures demonstration project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Family Violence Prevention and Services Administration (FVPSA), with technical assistance provided by Futures Without Violence (San Francisco, CA). Each grantee is providing specialized services for abused parents and their children from marginalized populations. In Idaho, SPS is contracted by the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (ICASDV) to evaluate the implementation and impact of the Promising Futures program in five separate communities. SPS is working closely with each community to tailor evaluation methodologies to fit the needs of their population, including organizations serving women and children from rural, Native, Mexican and Central American immigrant, and refugee populations. ICASDV’s main goal is to integrate a comprehensive anti-oppression and social equity framework in conjunction with institutionalizing Building Promising Futures into Idaho’s systems and responses to abused parents and their children in five demonstration sites to improve outcomes for abused parents and children from underserved communities.
In Alaska, SPS is contracted by the Cook Inlet Tribal Council to provide consultation in the planning and implementation of their innovative domestic violence screening and referral program, as well as trauma-informed provider training. CITC proposed the “Flourishing Child Tribal TANF Enhancement” program which provides intensive case management embedded within a home visiting model. CITC’s main goal is to improve outcomes for non-abusing parents and their children.
SPS is also the evaluator for the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), which provides health care to (mostly Native) residents of Southeast Alaska. Evaluations in both Alaska and Idaho are utilizing a strengths-based, client informed, mixed-method, non-experimental design to assess the improvement of systems and responses to abused parents and their children who have been exposed to family violence, improve access and provision of wrap-around services, and universally apply a family violence screening tool. Client/survivor surveys, client/survivor focus groups, staff surveys, training surveys and child interviews are all conducted in both Spanish and English.
Tags: University, California, Comprehensive Programming
UC Berkeley: PATH to Care Center
The PATH to Care Center leads the efforts to transform the University of California Berkeley campus into a community that is free of sexual violence, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and stalking through prevention, advocacy, training, and healing. SPS works with the PATH to Care Center to review programs and collected data to ensure they meet their goals. We develop an evaluation plan, including comprehensive prevention plan and logic models; develop evaluation instruments; and train center staff on how to effectively utilize evaluation instruments.
Tags: Alaska, Youth Ages 13 - 18, Quasi-experimental Research Evaluation, State Of Alaska, State Department Of Health, State Domestic Violence / Sexual Assault Coalition, University Researchers, State Department Of Education
Fourth R Alaska Statewide Evaluation
SPS directed a three-year long research project in Alaska that tested whether an evidence-based school health curriculum designed in Canada (Fourth R) was effective when adapted and implemented among Alaskan populations. This was the first evaluation of the Fourth R within the United States. Specifically, the study was a multi-site statewide quasi-experimental evaluation of the Fourth R, a comprehensive 9th grade school health curriculum. The purpose of the study was to determine if youth who participated in the Fourth R curriculum improved their applied knowledge, attitudes, behavioral intentions and behaviors, and increased protective factors more than youth who participated in a regular health class. Over 500 ninth graders in 13 schools across 12 communities in Alaska participated in this study. Six of these schools implemented the Fourth R curriculum, while the remaining seven schools implemented their regular health class and served as a comparison group.
Youth who participated in the Fourth R were statistically significantly different than comparison group youth in:
Improved awareness of abusive behavior
Reduced adherence to rape myths
Increased positive social support among youth with high ACE scores
And were trending toward statistical difference in:
Reduced acceptance of physical aggression
A unique contribution of this study to the field of violence prevention is the connection of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and high-risk populations to positive improvements after participation in a comprehensive health education curriculum. A high number of youth who participated in this study reported having experienced four or more ACEs in their lifetime. For a number of the study outcomes, we found that youth who had experienced more ACEs were more significantly impacted by the Fourth R program than youth who had not participated in the Fourth R. This finding aligns with the current proposition within prevention science indicating that youth who are at a higher risk for adverse outcomes may benefit the most from socio-emotional programming. The research team included organizational partners within and outside of Alaska, including the state domestic violence/sexual assault coalition, Department of Education, and Department of Health and Social Services, Governor’s Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and the University of Western Ontario, Canada. The collaborative partnership that resulted from this research study, and was led by Wendi Siebold, is noted as a model for utilizing multi-sectoral collaborations to leverage resources for advanced community-based research studies.
Download the final evaluation report here.
Tags: Alaska, Various Communities Around AK; IPV/DV/SA Prevention Teams, DV/SA, Qualitative Cross-site Statewide Evaluation, State Of Alaska
Alaska Green Dot Community Pilot Evaluation
SPS was contracted by the State of Alaska to evaluate the pilot implementation of the community version of the Green Dot violence prevention strategy across Alaska. Wendi Siebold directed the project in partnership with staff from Green Dot, Inc. Focus groups were conducted in five pilot communities to determine the scope, successes and challenges of implementation. Findings were communicated to Green Dot, Inc. and were used to inform the implementation of Green Dot in both Alaska and other communities in the United States.
Tags: Eastern U.S., University researchers, Rutgers University, University of New Hampshire
Green Dot Community Action & Mattering Study
Wendi Siebold consulted on this research project awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test the new community-version of the Green Dot strategy. The project is being directed by the University of New Hampshire’s Dr. Victoria Banyard and Dr. Katie Edwards. While it builds on founding Green Dot principles of mobilizing bystander intervention, Green Dot Community goes beyond individual levels of prevention strategies. Rather it focuses on building community-level engagement and changing two key community level factors that have been implicated in rates of sexual violence and intimate partner violence: collective efficacy and injunctive norms. The current project uses a quasi-experimental research design to evaluate the effectiveness of Green Dot Community to reduce rates of sexual violence and intimate partner violence in two communities in contrast to two matched comparison communities and one matched alternate treatment community.
Tags: Alaska, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Kansas, All Populations, Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Empowerment Evaluation, State Domestic Violence Coalitions, Local Community Nonprofit Organizations, Cdc, Federal Government
CDC Delta (National Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative)
SPS staff and contractors lead the full-time empowerment evaluation of the state of Alaska, Florida, California and Idaho’s CDC-funded DELTA statewide initiative, which funds domestic violence state and community coalitions to do primary prevention of intimate partner violence and involves a statewide multi-stakeholder planning process for each state’s primary prevention of intimate partner violence/domestic violence. From 2006 – 2011 we also were contracted with Montana in the same capacity. From 2010-2012, we worked with Kansas in the same capacity.
Tags: Washington, Pregnant And Parenting Women And Teens, Sexual Coercion, Sexual Assault, Reproductive Rights, Statewide Evaluation, Federal Government, State Government, State Sexual Assault Coalition, State Domestic Violence Coalition
Washington Pregnant And Parenting Women And Teens Project
In this project, SPS worked closely with project partners to evaluate the implementation of statewide guidelines for addressing and preventing reproductive coercion within the fields of health care, law enforcement, prosecution, and domestic and sexual violence advocacy. The Pregnant and Parenting Women and Teens Project was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Pregnancy Assistance Fund, created by the Affordable Care Act. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) was the lead agency for the grant. The Attorney Generals’ Office (AGO) provided the project coordination and administration of funds for both the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (WCSAP) and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV).
Tags: Washington, survivors of domestic violence, domestic violence advocates, statewide evaluation, state domestic violence coalition, private foundation, local nonprofit organizations
Washington Housing First Project
SPS was funded to evaluate the first cohort of this pilot project to obtain permanent housing for survivors of domestic violence. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Tags: Nationwide, Alaska, Alaska Native communities, youth suicide prevention, National cross-site evaluation, federal government, partner research firm, Alaskan communities, Native American tribes
Native Aspirations National Evaluation
From 2008-2011 SPS was part of a larger team of evaluators, including ICF International, EMT Associates, and University of Colorado at Denver. Staff at SPS were the Evaluation Liaisons for the Northwest Alaskan villages that are participating in this national project focused on preventing suicide, bullying and violence in highest need communities in Indian Country. We also provide content-specific trainings for community members and project staff at Kauffman & Associates (KAI). This project is funded by SAMHSA.