Assignment: Drafting a Process Evaluation


The steps for process evaluation outlined by Bliss and Emshoff (2002) may seem very similar to those for conducting other types of evaluation that you have learned about in this course; in fact, it is the purpose and timing of a process evaluation that most distinguish it from other types of evaluation. A process evaluation is conducted during the implementation of the program to evaluate whether the program has been implemented as intended and how the delivery of a program can be improved. A process evaluation can also be useful in supporting an outcome evaluation by helping to determine the reason behind program outcomes.

There are several reasons for conducting process evaluation throughout the implementation of a program. Chief among them is to compare the program that is being delivered to the original program plan, in order to identify gaps and make improvements. Therefore, documentation from the planning stage may prove useful when planning a process evaluation.

For this Assignment, you either build on the work that you completed in Weeks 6, 7, and 8 related to a support group for caregivers, or on your knowledge about a program with which you are familiar. Review the resource “Workbook for Designing a Process Evaluation”.

By Day 7

Submit a 4- to 5-page plan for a process evaluation. Include the following minimal information:

  • A description of the key program elements
  • A description of the strategies that the program uses to produce change
  • A description of the needs of the target population
  • An explanation of why a process evaluation is important for the program
  • A plan for building relationships with the staff and management
  • Broad questions to be answered by the process evaluation
  • Specific questions to be answered by the process evaluation
  • A plan for gathering and analyzing the information

Required Readings

Dudley, J. R. (2014). Social work evaluation: Enhancing what we do. (2nd ed.) Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.
Chapter 8, “Improving How Programs and Practice Work” (pp. 167–207)
Becker, L. A. (1999). Statistical and clinical significance. Retrieved from
Man-Son-Hing, M., Laupacis, A., O’Rourke, K., Molnar, F. J., Mahon, J., Chan, K. B., & Wells, G. (2002). Determination of the clinical importance of study results. Journal of general internal medicine, 17(6), 469-476. 
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. (Eds.). (2014b). Social work case studies: Concentration year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].
Read the following section:
“Social Work Research: Qualitative Groups” (pp. 68–69)
Document: Bliss, M. J., & Emshoff, J. G. (2002). Workbook for designing a process evaluation. Retrieved from (PDF)
Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health.

Optional Resources

QSR International. (n. d.). NVivo 10. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from
Use this webpage to view a demonstration of how qualitative data analysis can be assisted by software. You may explore any of the demos, but it is recommended that you start with NVivo eDemo. In order to view this demo, you will need to register, and download (or enable) the latest Adobe Flash Player.
Examples of Process Evaluation
Boyce, C., & Neale, P. (2006). Conducting in-depth interviews: A guide for designing and conducting in-depth interviews for evaluation input. Pathfinder International Tool Series: Monitoring and Evaluation – 2. Retrieved from
Hesselink, A. E., & Harting, J. (2011). Process evaluation of a multiple risk factor perinatal programme for a hard-to-reach minority group. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67(9), 2026–2037.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Lee, E., Esaki, N., & Greene, R. (2009). Collocation: Integrating child welfare and substance abuse services. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 9(1), 55–70.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Maxwell, N., Scourfield, J., Holland, S., Featherstone, B., & Lee, J. (2012). The benefits and challenges of training child protection social workers in father engagement. Child Abuse Review, 21(4), 299–310.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
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