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Stages of Program Development

Measurable objectives and meaningful, explicit performance measures are a prerequisite to a performance monitoring evaluation. Outcome objectives are developed from the problem analysis once the precursors to the problem are identified and the potentially most effective intervention strategies have been selected. Process objectives and measures are identified as the specific activities of the intervention are defined. Participation by stakeholders in their development is recommended and techniques for including these stakeholders were suggested throughout the previous chapters. Before designing the evaluation, it is important that stakeholders agree that the program’s objectives adequately reflect the desired program outcomes and the activities developed to produce those outcomes, and that the performance measures can provide sufficient data to assess progress towards program achievements. Be sure that the measures are understood and viewed as credible representations of objective achievement. The objectives, activities and any previously developed performance measures should be reviewed and, if necessary, refined. If performance measures were not developed during the program development process, they will be developed now, as part of the monitoring and evaluation planning process. In this case it will be especially important to check back with program stakeholders to be sure the performance measures will capture the data necessary to evaluate the achievement of the objectives. Chapter IV included definitions of terms used to describe different types or levels of objectives. Please refer to these definitions. The following terms are useful in understanding performance measurement. Objectives are specific statements of desired achievements that are expected to occur as a result of an intervention or program. These desired achievements are the standards against which program performance is evaluated. An objective tells us what significant accomplishment the program is meant to achieve