Poster Paper: Becoming An Evidence-Based Program: Under-Estimated Role of Performance Management

Friday, November 9, 2012
Liberty A & B (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Kristin A. Moore1, Elizabeth T. Boris2, Isaac D. Castillo3, Mary A. Terzian3 and Mary K. Winkler4, (1)Child Trends, Inc., (2)The Urban Institute, (3)Child Trends, Inc., (4)Urban Institute

In this era of tight budgets and accountability, policymakers and nonprofit practitioners need to demonstrate that programs are making a difference. Many social interventions assume that this means conducting a randomized controlled trial or at least a quasi-experimental evaluation.  However, prematurely evaluating a program can be a waste of valuable resources.  As this has become recognized, greater focus has been placed on the importance of establishing and using performance management data to assess program implementation and quality and to use these data to improve performance.  But many nonprofits lack the training, tools, and know-how to create good performance management systems and to identify outcome measures. In addition, information needed to replicate, adapt, assess fidelity and bring evidence-based programs to scale is not widely available, and it is often difficult to find, interpret, and use available information to make better decisions. The proposed paper will share varied perspectives and resources on ways to pragmatically marry research and practice to advance performance management, outcome measurement and the implementation of evidence-based research in the nonprofit and public sectors.