As with any long term initiative, an evaluation framework is key to ongoing monitoring, impact assessment, and learning. To that end, Palm Healthcare Foundation has engaged an evaluation consultant, Action Evaluation Collaborative, to guide the work of data collection – both quantitative and qualitative – measurement, and continuous improvement. An evaluation, monitoring, and learning system will sustain the systematic inquiry and sensemaking on community-based issues and solutions, and measure the impact of the Healthier Together initiative on Palm Beach County communities.
The foundation has created an evaluation framework for the overall Healthier Together initiative, and each community will determine its own specific outcomes that align with the foundation’s overall model. Neighborhood stakeholders will lead this process and commit to shared, measurable results to ensure that the work is on the path to success. The initiative’s monitoring, evaluation, and learning will be shared and reported through this site.
Key Strategies for the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning of Healthier Together
Starting in the fall of 2014, Action Evaluation Collaborative works with selected Healthier Together communities to develop their individual Theories of Action. The process and the resulting products, the Theory of Action maps, articulates what outcomes each community intends to achieve through Healthier Together, both in terms of capacity building and neighborhood health improvements. The communities own goals, benchmarks, and measures of change are then aligned with the overall Healthier Together Theory of Action developed by Palm Healthcare Foundation and a monitoring, evaluation, and learning system developed.
Evaluators work directly with the communities to facilitate a collective understanding of what information is needed in order to determine whether progress is being made in realizing their action plans. From this process emerges data collection strategies and communities will be provided with the support and the tools necessary to strengthen their capacity to collect, manage, share, make-sense of, and utilize the data and information collected. Neighborhood stakeholders leading the initiative are committed to sharing measurable results to support the ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and learning of Healthier Together.
As knowledge exchange and learning are critical to inform action in support of healthy, equitable, and thriving neighborhoods, the communities and the foundation are engaged in – and a process modeled for – collective sense-making as a means to analyze the data, and of transforming information into knowledge and learning into strategies. Key to this process is “case making” and “story telling” about the impacts of Healthier Together on Palm Beach County communities.