Successful evaluation capacity building requires a dynamic balance between responding to local agency needs and ensuring that local staff have appropriate skills to conduct rigorous evaluations. In 2004, the California Tobacco Control Program established the Tobacco Control Evaluation Center (TCEC), based at a public research university, to provide evaluation technical assistance to approximately 100 local agencies implementing tobacco control programs. TCEC has been responsive to local needs, for instance, by answering 512 technical assistance requests in the first 5 years of operation and by tailoring training according to needs assessment results. About 50% of the technical assistance requests were for new data collection instruments (n = 255). TCEC has sought proactively to improve local evaluation skills, most recently in a data analysis and report writing skill building campaign that included a webinar, newsletter, and seven regional training meetings. Preliminary analysis suggests a 20% improvement in scores for the local final evaluation reports as a result of this campaign. It is concluded that evaluation technical assistance can be provided effectively by a university as long as the local context is kept in mind, and a balance of responsive and proactive technical assistance is provided.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Health Promotion Practice|
|Issue number||6 Suppl 2|
|State||Published - Nov 2011|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Nursing (miscellaneous)