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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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In this section HFRP offers a selected list of new tools for evaluating out-of-school time (OST) programs.

Chinman, M., Imm, P., & Wandersman, A. (2004). Getting to outcomes 2004: Promoting accountability through methods and tools for planning, implementation, and evaluation. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Researchers at RAND designed this manual to aid practitioners in improving the quality of youth prevention programs. Its 10-step approach includes strategies for assessing needs, implementing programs, conducting evaluation, and promoting continuous improvement. The primary focus of the report is on substance abuse prevention, with implications for other types of prevention programs as well.

Geiger, E., & Britsch, B. (2003). Out-of-school time program evaluation: Tools for action. Portland, OR: Education, Career, and Community Program, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. NWREL evaluators have produced this how-to guide for designing and implementing program evaluations. The guide provides useable surveys, focus group questions, and strategies for data analysis.

Hipps, J., Ormsby, C., Diaz, M., & Heredia, A. (n.d.). Evaluating after-school programs: The program evaluator’s multiple challenges. Oakland, CA: WestEd. WestEd evaluators use their experiences evaluating 21st Century Community Learning Centers sites to describe the important role of, and challenges faced by, after school evaluators. The report highlights several key issues for evaluators, including potential organizational hazards to program implementation, tensions between schools and community-based agencies, and disconnections between those responsible for securing funding and those responsible for program implementation.

London, J. K., Zimmerman, K., & Erbstein, N. (2003). Youth-led research and evaluation: Tools for youth, community, and organizational development. New Directions for Evaluation, 98, 33–45. This article describes the Youth-Led Research, Evaluation, and Planning (Youth REP) model developed by Youth in Focus. The model includes a method for training youth in leadership and evaluation, and for training adults in sharing decision making and evaluation responsibilities with youth.

Child Trends has produced a series of resources for understanding and improving positive development among adolescents. The Research Tools to Improve Youth Development resource includes the Youth Outcomes Compendium and the series What Works: Programs for Teens. Together these resources employ a youth development framework to summarize current knowledge about the types of outcomes that matter for youth, the types of programs and practices that affect these outcomes, and strategies for measuring practices and outcomes.

The After-School Corporation is sponsoring the Promising Practices Initiatives to document and disseminate effective practices of after school programs. The initiatives include a series of resource briefs and tool kits that focus on staffing and professional development. Also included is the Citigroup Success Fund for Promising Practices in After-School Programs, which provides awards for programs to write about their promising practices for a wide audience of after school practitioners.

An expanded version of New & Noteworthy is also available.

New Resources From HFRP

The third and fourth publications in our series, Out-of-School Time Evaluation Snapshots, are now available:

  • Snapshot 3, entitled Detangling Data Collection: Methods for Gathering Data on Out-of-School Time Programs, describes the common data collection methods out-of-school time programs use to evaluate their implementations and outcomes.
  • Snapshot 4, entitled Engaging With Families in Out-of-School Time Learning, examines what strategies programs are using to collect data on engaging with families.

The Snapshot series draws on the program evaluations featured in our Out-of-School Time Program Evaluation Database. Snapshots can be read or downloaded online and some are also available in hard copy.


Suzanne Bouffard, Consultant, HFRP

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