Evaluating Outcomes

Every program evaluation will be unique in terms of the outcomes, indicators, data collection methods and tools that are most appropriate and feasible to use.

The resources within this website are intended to help you identify outcomes, indicators and data collection tools that are most relevant to your situation. What kind of outcomes are you interested in evaluating?

Formative/Process outcomes: What are they & why are they important?

Evaluating process outcomes (also known as formative outcomes) is important, especially for new programs.  

Process outcomes help us see how the program’s philosophy is being realized and how participants are experiencing the program. Researchers also have shown that there is a connection between the quality of the service provided, participants’ experience of the service, and participants’ well-being.

Our Evaluation Maps identify four categories of formative/process outcomes. Learn more here.
Participant and community outcomes: What difference does the program make?

Summative or impact evaluation aims to answer the “So What?” questions – that is, “What difference did the program make?” – to participants, to the community, or even more broadly to a system of care. It also is often helpful to think about these outcomes in the short-, medium-, and long-term.

Because wraparound programs focus on the ‘whole person’ and on both the pregnant person/parent and their child(ren), a program may have impacts in many areas in participants’ lives, including health, housing, substance use and trauma recovery, and mother-child connection.

Click on the green circles in the Participant Outcomes ring in the diagram below to learn more about different participant outcomes and how they can be evaluated.