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  • 5 - Findings, Priorities, Action - Conducting a Community Assessment
    to create your action plan For each part of your plan determine how you will measure the effectiveness of your actions Adopt measures that help define your strategy and that you will be able to track over time Organize your key findings into categories Key findings can be organized into categories to help summarize the data When you separate your key findings from one another you can use them more effectively when planning your response Common key findings categories used in community assessments include Strengths Gaps Opportunities Challenges Key Findings Use this worksheet to help you organize your key findings You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site Overcome the challenges of priority setting Priority setting can be difficult because it requires developing consensus among community members with different opinions and views on how community issues should be addressed Cornell University Cooperative Extension identifies four barriers to priority setting and offers suggestions for minimizing the barriers The human problem and the difficulty of getting people to focus on key issues decisions and conflicts Start by striving for consensus on what you are trying to accomplish by priority setting Why are we doing this and what are the stakes Actively recognize that there is strength in differing viewpoints and don t place viewpoints in value order Build in time to allow people to reflect on information presented digest it and modify decisions The process problem and the challenge of managing information and ideas during a priority setting process Be very specific in defining priorities to minimize multiple interpretations Make key information available prior to decision meetings Beware of taking too much time to analyze information analysis paralysis and or rushing to meet deadlines The structure problem and the difficulty of priority setting across different issue areas Cultivate

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/communityassessment/default.aspx?chp=5 (2016-02-12)
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  • 6 - Share Findings - Conducting a Community Assessment
    should allow the community to benefit from your findings Community members will be more likely to support your efforts when they have a clear understanding of the work you have done and of what their community needs The last step of your community assessment is to share what you have learned with others and to put your plan into action To increase awareness of the findings you can hold community meetings to share your report with community members issue press releases to increase distribution to different media outlets publish a brochure to summarize the key findings and actions and put the full report on your website and the websites of your partners Share your findings with the community Here are some ways you can share your assessment findings with your community Hold a community meeting and share the report with attendees Be sure to invite stakeholders partners and prospective partners Invite the potential beneficiaries of the challenges you are seeking to overcome Issue press releases to local media outlets Send follow up notes to press contacts to establish a relationship and generate investment in your cause Publish a brochure that summarizes the key findings Use the brochures to reach stakeholders

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/communityassessment/default.aspx?chp=6 (2016-02-12)
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  • Summary - Conducting a Community Assessment
    for taking the time to learn about conducting a community assessment Access these resources for more information about community assessments Putting the Pieces Together Comprehensive School Linked Strategies for Children and Families Chapter 2 Conducting a Community Assessment North Central Regional Educational Laboratory Learning Points Associates http www ncrel org sdrs areas issues envrnmnt css ppt chap2 htm Community Assessment Tools A Companion Piece to Communities in Action A Guide

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/communityassessment/default.aspx?chp=7 (2016-02-12)
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  • Creating and Implementing a Data Collection Plan
    still reliable because it reflects a consistent reading Validity is the accuracy of the information generated The primary advantage of surveys is their cost in relation to the amount of data you can collect Surveying generally is considered efficient because you can include large numbers of people at a relatively low cost There are two key disadvantages First if the survey is conducted by mail response rates can be very low jeopardizing the validity of the data collected There are mechanisms to increase response rates but they will add to the cost of the survey We will discuss tips for boosting response rates later in this lesson Written surveys also don t allow respondents to clarify a confusing question Thorough survey pre testing can reduce the likelihood that problems will arise Reliability refers to consistency Reliability can also be thought of as the extent to which data are reproducible Do items or questions on a survey for example repeatedly produce the same response regardless of when the survey is administered or whether the respondents are men or women Bias in the data collection instrument is a primary threat to reliability and can be reduced by repeated testing and revision of the instrument You cannot have a valid instrument if it is not reliable However you can have a reliable instrument that is not valid Think of shooting arrows at a target Reliability is getting the arrows to land in about the same place each time you shoot You can do this without hitting the bull s eye Validity is getting the arrow to land on the bull s eye Lots of arrows landing in the bull s eye means you have both reliability and validity CHAPTER 3 Deciding When and How to Collect Data Once you have identified the data collection methods you intend to use and after you have carefully tested to make sure your methods are as valid and reliable as possible you need to decide when you will collect the data and how often Using an appropriate schedule to gather data such as before during or after a program is vital It s also important to prepare your clients for the data collection process and to assure them that you will protect the confidentiality of their feedback Consider the most appropriate data collection design for your program Here are descriptions for five approaches or designs you are likely to use for your data collection You may want to employ more than one type of design Design 1 Post only Measures Data are collected once at the end of the program service or activity Example Level of participant knowledge on a survey after a training workshop Design 2 Pre Post Measures Data are collected twice at the beginning to establish a baseline and at the end of the program Example Comparison of an organization s documented fundraising success before and after receiving technical assistance Design 3 Time Series Data are collected a number of times during an ongoing program and in follow up Example Monthly observations of an organization s collaboration meetings to track changes in partnership development and communication Design 4 Measures with a Comparison Group Data are collected from two groups one group that receives the intervention and one that doesn t Example Comparison of data on skill development from individuals who participated in training and those who have not yet taken your workshop Note Comparison groups can be very useful in demonstrating the success of your intervention The main question is can you find a group of people or organizations that is just like the group with whom you are working In order to provide a valid comparison the two groups must have the same general characteristics A similar group may be difficult to find However if you are working with different groups at different times and the groups are similar this approach may work for you Design 5 Measures with a Comparative Standard Data are collected once at the end of the program service or activity and are compared with a standard Example Comparison of this year s data on organizations success in fundraising versus last year s data Note Comparative standards are standards against which you can measure yourself There are standards of success in some fields e g health mortality and morbidity rates student achievement scores teen birth rates For intermediaries however there are unlikely to be many regarding your program outcomes or indicators You can however compare your results for one time period to an earlier one as shown in the example above You collect data for the first time period as your baseline and use it as your standard in the future Implement data collection procedures It will be vital to find reliable and trustworthy people to collect and manage the data Consider who will collect the data and how you will recruit these people What steps will they need to take to collect the data How will you train them Finally who will be responsible for monitoring the data collection process to ensure you are getting what you need It s important to answer each of these questions during your planning You don t want to be surprised halfway through the process to discover your three month follow up surveys were not mailed out because you didn t identify who would do so Prepare your clients FBOs and CBOs for data collection Communicate with the organizations you serve or the program s staff to inform them of this step in the evaluation process Make sure they know that you will be collecting data either at the time of service or in follow up Clarify why it is important to you and how you intend to use the data Organizations often have outcome reporting requirements themselves so they usually are responsive if they have been alerted to your needs ahead of time Advising them in advance about your data collection plans will help increase their willingness to participate during implementation

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/datacollection/Print.aspx (2016-02-12)
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  • Interactivites
    activity is really tough to get through click the chapter title on the tabs above for additional instruction Overview None Data Collection Methods Pretest data collection instruments Pretest data collection instruments Text version of audio here Which data collection method should you use Which data collection method should you use Text version of audio here Validity and Reliability Test your knowledge of validity and reliability Test your knowledge of validity

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/datacollection/Interactivities.aspx?chp=99 (2016-02-12)
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  • Interactivites
    the overview and pause at any time by pressing the Pause button on the bottom left of the player The buttons at the bottom right of the player allow you to control the volume and shift the video to full screen On Screen Text Below the player you will find on screen text This includes the detailed information you will need to know in order to meet learning objectives for

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/datacollection/Help.aspx?chp=99 (2016-02-12)
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  • Overview - Creating and Implementing a Data Collection Plan
    of the program you wish to evaluate You should have a working logic model that identifies your desired outcomes the resources and activities necessary to accomplish these outcomes and a detailed list of the specific measures you will take to implement them Once this piece is complete you can begin gathering relevant data through surveys interviews focus groups or other methods Data collection happens before analysis and reporting Valid and

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/datacollection/default.aspx?chp=0 (2016-02-12)
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  • 1 - Data Collection Methods - Creating and Implementing a Data Collection Plan
    learn about changes in their fundraising tactics and the results of their efforts to raise more money Click here to download the Technical Assistance Survey Template You can adapt this template for use in your program evaluation Interviews are more in depth but can be cost prohibitive Interviews use standardized instruments but are conducted either in person or over the telephone In fact an interview may use the same instrument created for a written survey although interviewing generally offers the chance to explore questions more deeply You can ask more complex questions in an interview since you have the opportunity to clarify any confusion You also can ask the respondents to elaborate on their answers eliciting more in depth information than a survey provides The primary disadvantage of interviews is their cost It takes considerably more time and therefore costs more money to conduct telephone and in person interviews Often this means you collect information from fewer people Interview reliability also can be problematic if interviewers are not well trained They may ask questions in different ways or otherwise bias the responses Here are some examples of ways to use interviews Talk to different grassroots organizations to learn about the way in which they are applying new knowledge of partnership development Interview individuals within an organization to explore their perceptions of changes in capacity and ability to deliver services Focus groups are small group discussions based on a defined area of interest While interviews with individuals are meant to solicit data without any influence or bias from the interviewer or other individuals focus groups are designed to allow participants to discuss the questions and share their opinions This means people can influence one another in the process stimulating memory or debate on an issue The advantage of focus groups lies in the richness of the information generated The disadvantage is that you can rarely generalize or apply the findings to your entire population of participants or clients Focus groups often are used prior to creating a survey to test concepts and wording of questions Following a written survey they are used to explore specific questions or issues more thoroughly Here are some examples of ways to use focus groups Hold a structured meeting with staff in a community based organization to learn more about their grants management practices what worked during the year and what did not Conduct a discussion with staff from several organizations to explore their use of computer technology for tracking financial data Pretest data collection instruments You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site Observations can capture behaviors interactions events or physical site conditions Observations require well trained observers who follow detailed guidelines about whom or what to observe when and for how long and by what method of recording The primary advantage of observation is its validity When done well observation is considered a strong data collection method because it generates firsthand unbiased information by individuals who have been trained on

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/datacollection/default.aspx?chp=1 (2016-02-12)
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