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development planning and evaluation

Describe the Program and Develop or Review a Program Logic Model The purpose of the program description is to enable stakeholders and evaluators to understand the problem(s) the program addresses and the program theory–how the program is designed to work to impact those problems and what results it is meant to achieve. Additional information, such as the organizational and political context in which FHOP Planning Guide 85 the program operates, will be valuable. For program theory to be understood and assessed, it must be described clearly. The evaluator will want to be sure that the narrative description is accurate. The health assessment, the problem analyses, any theory(ies) of change, program objectives, and the action plan(s) provide the basis for describing and understanding the expected program results and how the program is expected to operate. The program action plan, as described in Chapter IV, includes the long term and intermediate objectives, the program activities, the agency or person responsible for implementation and a timeline for implementation. It may also include the performance measures that correspond to each objective. This level of action plan is appropriate for a program such as an MCH program that may have oversight for multiple interventions, some for which it is directly responsible and others that are implemented by component programs. A component program’s action plan will be a more detailed plan specific to its service delivery activities and their process measures and outcomes. The evaluator should review the program objectives and the performance measures to assure that they are measurable, and if they are not, to work with a group of stakeholders to develop or refine them. The program objectives must be meaningful to stakeholders, SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reliable and Time-framed) and their performance measures must be exact. See Chapter IV, the section Developing Objectives and Performance Measures for a detailed discussion. It is very important to have a shared understanding of the program theory. Tools, such as a program logic model can be used to illustrate how a program is meant to work to achieve its objectives and performance standards. We recommend using a logic model. A description of a logic model is provided earlier in this chapter in the performance monitoring evaluation section. See Appendix V-B-1 for an example of the logic model tool we use. Appendix V-B2 is the accompanying step-by-step program logic model guide to use when a program has already been developed. It can help evaluators and stakeholders to understand how a program is working to achieve its outcomes and to confirm that the evaluation should be based on the elements presented in the model. There is sometimes a need to evaluate an exi