The Lifecycle of Data: Establishing Effective Internal Evaluation Processes
Over the last several years, direct service programs have increasingly focused on building data and evaluation capacity - investing in staff and/or systems to support data entry and capture outcomes. Government and philanthropic funders have helped drive these changes by mandating specific outcomes information and offering data collection systems. While many programs have become more adept at understanding enrollment and outcomes, too often organizations are awash in data about services and activities that offer a murky picture of the implementation efforts in between. Philadelphia Youth Network has put in place a new evaluation support cycle that seeks to elevate the use of data from “systems of record” to not only tout impact but also understand implementation and reflect on programmatic strategies. In this session, we will share our progress in implementing this new cycle of support, some of the specific tools we are using, and the key challenges we still face.