Research Solutions was commissioned by a large State Government Department to undertake a strategic evaluation across the life of a new multi-million dollar program. The program comprised three sub-programs designed to support and promote identified policy objectives at a grass roots level. The evaluation framework, developed in close consultation with the Department, needed to take budget realities into consideration, balanced with the need to adequately assess the objectives of each program implemented across the State.
The evaluation comprised baseline, mid-term and final evaluation studies for each of the three key program areas. The studies began with extensive qualitative research among various stakeholder groups including in-depth interviews, focus groups, peer discussions and case studies, as appropriate. At every stage, each program evaluation incorporated surveys with up to four stakeholder groups and participants (where appropriate) using a mixed-mode approach (online and telephone surveys).
The final evaluation included a strong strategic and policy focus that was well received by the Department. Over the five years of the project, the Department was able to build up a “history” of program operations, learnings from how the programs have evolved and how behaviours, attitudes and opinions of participants and stakeholder groups have changed over time as the result of their involvement. The suggestions of participants and stakeholders as to how to improve each of the programs have also been invaluable to the Department, enabling them to make timely changes to program delivery so that they operate more efficiently and effectively at a grass roots level and achieve their desired outputs and outcomes.