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Textbook: Vito, G. F., & Higgins, G. E. (2015). Practical program evaluation for criminal justice. Waltham, MA: Elsevier. ISBN: 9781455777709.

Program Process and Implementation

            Change can take place in many phases and in many aspects of life. A prime example of constant changing is the changes that occur within communities. Communities constantly undergo an array of changes to their way of operating and often times in efforts to achieve a more modern and family friendly environment which can promote growth from the family aspect as well as the business aspect. When looking at a community plan there are timelines that dictate operations and time frame of which things can occur. Coordinating resources are done to ensure the overall plan can be achieved. Tracking progress can be an essential tool to ensure resources are being implemented in accordance with the plan. Using tracking systems, noting successes, and documenting obstacles is a positive to ensure stakeholders and support for the project remains high (Sharma, Chuang, Byrd-Williams, Vandewater, Butte, Hoelscher, 2019).

            As the program or plan progresses, the data collected, and accomplishments achieved should be collected and shared to maximize time contributed to the project and the expertise gathered. Often times anonymity is involved in projects and community projects to ensure attention is on the overall goal and not on individuality. There can still be ample data sharing and community involvement without giving out specific information that harms the integrity of remaining anonymous. The biggest reason for sharing with the community and the public is for the constant source of feedback to ensure the project is headed in the right direction; there is also the benefit of others using the project to further their own initiatives which can be beneficial for everyone involved (Sharma, Chuang, Byrd-Williams, Vandewater, Butte, Hoelscher, 2019).

Once the project is nearing completion, look towards the achievements that have occurred along the way and ensure to congratulate everyone involved with the hard work and acknowledge the time and effort being put forth to achieve a community goal. This is also the prime opportunity to ensure the entirety of the plan was followed through and completed as instructed and to reflect on what can be done in the future and what could be done differently to ensure a higher level of efficiency (Lok, Hung, Walsh, Wang, Crawford, 2005).

Program Evaluation

            Evaluation is the last phase in the process of program implementation and program effectiveness. Evaluation is an essential step to take but can often be unknowingly woven into every step you’ve taken to get this far without realizing it. Many communities look back to examine and evaluate all of the efforts put into their plan for community improvement to determine if the effort and time was worth the cost. This evaluation is an important step to complete to finish the process (Sharma, Chuang, Byrd-Williams, Vandewater, Butte, Hoelscher, 2019).

Two key factors to determining success while evaluating is defining the criteria for success and establishing the measure of impact. Using these two aspects of definitions of success allows for an objective viewpoint on the totality of the outcome and the process itself. Evaluations should be able to be reflected throughout the process and each phase of change or progress through the plan. Defining what success means can take the form of what success looks like to the community and to those directly involved (Lok, Hung, Walsh, Wang, Crawford, 2005)

By examining all of the data and considering what was reasonable in terms of the time and resources allocated to the project, one can then note the obstacles to success and what policies need to be implemented or which policies were obstructing the pathway to change and success. Change is a constant in nearly all aspects of life and it is an annual process that is on a continuum. Examining, reassessing, and evaluating the end results and the effects of the overall project is key to future success and sustaining the current success that has been achieved (Lok, Hung, Walsh, Wang, Crawford, 2005)