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Evaluation Planning for Program and Strategic Development

We see evaluation planning as the process of setting a course for a successful evaluation that will inform effective strategies to address prioritized organizational or community needs; assess accomplishments and identify challenges and course corrections; and create a roadmap to guide organizations, government institutions, or coalitions to achieve the positive long term impacts they are seeking. Through our research and capacity building work, we design evaluations to provide information and outcomes that will inform your organizational and/or programmatic strategic plans.

Past Projects


Evaluation Plan for the California Ed-Med Collaborative
The Samuels Center is working with the California Ed-Med Collaborative (CEMC) to design a comprehensive evaluation plan for their Collaborative's work over the next two years.  CEMC is a recently formed collaborative led by Health Care Without Harm and School Food FOCUS who are combining efforts for this cross-sector effort to engage selected school districts, hospitals, food supply chain stakeholders, funders, and other allied groups to increase the amount of healthful and sustainably produced poultry products purchased by K-12 school and health care sectors.  The evaluation plan will include key informant interviews with various stakeholder groups such as CEMC members, poultry producers and distributors, comprehensive analysis of poultry purchasing data to determine increases in healthy and sustainable poultry production, availability and purchasing, and a media and messaging analysis of the communications and coverage of CEMC's efforts.

Kern County Community Transformation Grant
Kern County Public Health Services Department
As part of Kern County's CTG capacity building work, Samuels Center is designing, implementing and reporting on a multi-method evaluation including a community health assessment, grantee reporting interviews with leadership team members, a coalition analysis, policy scan, and key informant interviews with community stakeholders for tobacco use prevention and healthy eating/active living.

Stanislaus County Community Transformation Grant
Stanislaus County Public Health Services Agency
Samuels Center is working with the Stanislaus County Public Health Services Agency with their capacity building work and is helping to develop a plan for the implementation phase of the initiative. Methods include conducting a series of focus groups on 1) tobacco use prevention (voluntary policies in multiunit housing) and 2) healthy eating/active living (perceptions and support for healthier corner storefront advertisement).

Kaiser Permanente Community Health Needs Assessment in Stanislaus County
Kaiser Permanente
As part of the community health needs assessment (CHNA), Kaiser Permanente of Stanislaus County contracted with the Samuels Center to conduct the CHNA for Stanislaus County. As part of the CHNA, we reviewed existing data sets, secondary data and previous community health and needs assessments, conducted key informant interviews with public health experts and conducted focus groups with community residents in English and Spanish. The combination of the data review and data collection methods was analyzed to identify the most significant health priorities that impact the community. These key indicators were used as a basis for informing initiatives for the next 3 years.

California State CTG Logic Modeling and FoodBEAMS
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
To help shape implementation strategies for California’s CTG work, Samuels Center received a grant from the Public Health Institute and California Project LEAN to develop and conduct a logic model webinar to train counties on writing specific logic models to guide their CTG work.  In conjunction with PHI staff, Samuels Center reviewed county draft logic models and provided follow up technical assistance via phone and email to the 12 counties to help them refine and finalize their logic models. Under this same grant, Samuels Center also developed and conducted a webinar to train county staff to collect beverage data using FoodBEAMS at each site where beverage changes are planned within the counties. Samuels Center provided follow up TA with the counties via phone and email to assist county staff with beverage data collection through FoodBEAMS.  Samuels Center will analyze the baseline data collected and compare the data to beverage standards that are being used across counties for this CTG strategic direction. This information helped guide county implementation of beverage standards and strategies to change access to healthy beverages.

Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust
State of Oklahoma
Samuels Center provided strategic planning consultation to the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) on the development of the TSET Nutrition and Fitness Initiative. Our consultation activities included key informant and Board interviews, logic model development, development of a five-year Road Map for the initiative, and technical assistance on the development of a community grants program and evaluation design.

Advisors on Grantmaking in Diabetes and Alzheimer's Disease
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation has commissioned Samuels Center to develop a grantmaking strategy in the areas of diabetes and Alzheimer's. Activities include formative research, convening of key stakeholders, and solicitation and review of proposals.

Health Action of Sonoma County
Sonoma County Department of Health Services, CA
Samuels Center conducted a year-long formative evaluation of Sonoma County Department of Health Services (CA) Health Action, a county-wide, multi-sector, public/private initiative.  The evaluation included development of logic models and a stakeholder survey by phone with members of the Health Action coalition, workgroups and steering committee as well as outside stakeholders. The survey assessed Health Action member experiences in engaging a broad spectrum of stakeholders, how collective understanding of local health and health care issues and solutions had been enriched through participation in the Health Action collaborative, what additional resources were needed to implement strategies, and how Health Action’s role as a vehicle for on-going community wide dialogue and planning on local health issues could be sustained. The interviews also explored what inspired Health Action members to commit to Health Action’s goals at the personal and organizational level, the breadth and depth of their participation in Health Action, how they had grown as advocates and leaders, and how Health Action success could be measured. Findings from the stakeholder survey were summarized in a report that included recommendations and was presented to the Health Action and other key stakeholders. 

Santa Clara County Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Strategic Plan
First 5 Santa Clara County
First 5 in Santa Clara County, California commissioned Samuels Center to assist in the development of their Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Strategic Plan. Activities included facilitating meetings of the Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative, as well as meetings with community members and policymakers, creating a logic model based on feedback from all groups, and drafting the final Plan. The Plan contained the strategic steps for First 5 to combat childhood obesity in the coming years, and a comprehensive list of resources relating to nutrition and physical activity for children ages 0-5.

Environmental Assessment Training Workshop
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Samuels Center was commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to conduct training workshops across the country on tracking and monitoring changes in school food and beverage environments. The workshop was designed for school administrators, food service directors, school board associations, parent-teacher associations and other stakeholders involved in making decisions that affect the school nutrition environment. Participants used the resulting data to inform policies and environmental change in their schools.

Coast-to-Coast Initiative to Prevent and Control Child Obesity, Planning Phase
Iacocca Foundation, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation
Samuels Center was part of a multidisciplinary team of experts from the Harvard School of Public Health, the University of California at Berkeley Center for Weight and Health, Mathematica Policy Research, and WGBH, Boston's Public Broadcasting Service station to develop a coast-to-coast initiative to prevent and control child obesity. The initiative implemented, evaluated, and disseminated a cost-effective, integrated and sustainable approach to prevent and control obesity in elementary and middle school children nationwide built on surrounding children with coordinated programs and policies to promote active, healthy lifestyles. The Iacocca Foundation and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation provided initial funding for the planning phase.

Diabetes Prevention and Control Program Logic Modeling
California Diabetes Prevention and Control Program
In 2000, Samuels Center collaborated with the California Diabetes Prevention and Control Program (DPCP) - a public health program in the Department of Health Services - in developing a logic model to chart the activities organizations can engage in to combat diabetes in California. The logic model outlined interventions the DPCP recommended agencies implement, appropriate target audiences, expected changes, and outcome measurements. Samuels Center also led a logic modeling exercise related to DPCP's grant request to the CDC for support of their long-and short-term programs in diabetes prevention and management.

A Review of Nutrition Education Models, Approaches and Theories
California WIC Association
The Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federally funded program that provides supplemental food, nutrition education and linkages to healthcare services for low-income, pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants, and children under five who are nutritionally at risk. Samuels Center was commissioned by the California WIC Association to review and assess nutrition education models and approaches. Both published and unpublished sources were reviewed and WIC professionals with experience in a particular approach were interviewed. Recommendations present a number of future directions for WIC to consider.

Grant Review Process
Oakland Fund for Children and Youth
Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (OFCY) is an initiative of the City of Oakland to promote youth development through youth-centered after-school programming. Samuels Center designed a proposal review process for the OFCY's 1999 grant cycle, developing youth-friendly reviewer materials and trainings for youth and adult grant reviewers.

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