253670 Systematic Screening and Assessment (SSA) Method: A unique approach to identifying practice-based evidence

Monday, October 31, 2011: 12:30 PM

Nicola Dawkins, PhD, MPH , ICF International, Atlanta, GA
While rigorous evaluation is a valuable method, conducting them well is also costly and time-intensive. Further, outcomes-focused evaluation is not an appropriate fit for every initiative. Evaluability assessments (EAs) offer an efficient and cost-effective technique to help guide evaluation choices. EAs help answer critical questions evaluators and practitioners continue to face: Is a program or policy ready for outcomes-focused evaluation? What are viable options for evaluating a particular initiative? EAs involve clarifying program goals and design, finding out stakeholders' views on important issues, and exploring the reality of a given initiative. Further, pairing EAs with critical judgment through expert review unleashes the great potential of the Systematic Screening and Assessment (SSA) Method for identifying strong practice-based evidence. In combination, the techniques of evaluability assessment and expert panel review allow for identifying promising initiatives, rapidly assessing their plausibility and readiness for evaluation, and determining best use of evaluation resources to take the practice-based success and use it to fill the evidence-base. Particularly in places where the initiatives are many but the evidence is lean, the SSA Method can make a significant contribution to sifting through noise and identifying diamonds in the rough worth more focused attention. In this presentation, participants will learn what EAs are and how they fit within the broader SSA Method, will discuss how SSA provides time and resource savings for identifying practice-based evidence, and will review considerations for applying SSA in their own environment.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe what evaluability assessments (EAs) are and how EAs fit within the broader Systematic Screening and Assessment (SSA) Method. 2. Discuss how SSA provides time and resource savings for identifying practice-based evidence. 3. Assess considerations for applying SSA in their environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have implemented numerous SSA projects, have delivered workshops and other trainings on the subject for multiple evaluation audiences over the last three years, and have co-edited a journal issue discussing the approach (Kettel Khan, L., Dawkins, N., & Leviton, L. (2010). Results and insights from the systematic screening and assessment method. New Directions for Evaluation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.