Application of the theory-driven approach to evaluation in program planning

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Mackay, Heather Elizabeth
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The present practicum with the Manitoba Healthy Child Initiative involved the development of an implementation plan and evaluation plan with an established interorganizational committee comprised of senior managers from education, social services and mental health. The proposed program is a multi-faceted education-based program for children under the age of twelve with severe emotional and behavior disorders currently not attending school. The use of the theory-driven approach during planning is undocumented and the literature and the practicum offered the unique experience to apply this approach at the stage of program planning. The activities of the practicum included reviewing the literature related to the program's proposed interventions; developing program outcomes; articulating the program's theory, based on the literature and the implicit logic model of the committee members; and the creation of an evaluation framework. The temporal replacement of evaluation planning to the program planning stage, inparticular the application of the theory-driven approach at this stage has implications to evaluation use theory and the role of the evaluator. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)