Evaluating Community-based FASD Programs: What works?

An Update on the Toward an Evaluation Framework for Community-based FASD Prevention Programs Project

The British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health and the Network Action Team on FASD Prevention from a Women’s Health Determinants Perspective of the Canada FASD Research Network are midway through a multi-year project to identify promising evaluation methods, measures, and frameworks for FASD prevention programs serving pregnant women and mothers as well as supportive intervention programs for adults and older youth with FASD.

The project came about following recognition of a growing desire to share what has been learned about the design and delivery of FASD prevention and intervention programming. This project provides an opportunity to consider what works – for whom and in what context ‐ and to build understanding about various approaches to evaluating these types of programs. The project has been funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s FASD National Strategic Project Fund.

One of the focuses of the project has been holding 2 day consultations with program providers, researchers/evaluators, policy makers, parents and advocates, and funders in different regions of Canada. Regional consultation workshops were held in Atlantic, Central, and Western Canada in fall 2011. Another workshop will be held next week in the Northwest Territories.

The team is now in the process of developing  on-line resources and tools to support capacity building in organizations conducting evaluations.  At the moment, the team has three conceptual maps – one for FASD Prevention programs, one for FASD Supportive Intervention programs, and one for FASD programs in Aboriginal communities. The Maps were developed as tools for conceptualizing evaluation and describing the connection between program philosophy and program approaches/activities, formative outcomes, and client, community, and systemic outcomes. Once finalized, the Maps will be available on-line.

If you’re in the North, you’re more than welcome to attend the consultation meeting next week. Otherwise, stay tuned for another update later in the year.

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