DiClemente (2013) stated, “Although no evaluation is perfect, evaluation research can have a high degree of rigor” (DiClemente, Salazar, & Crosby, 2013, pp. 298). The result of a high degree of rigor can lead to the utilization by program planners and policy experts which would in turn could impact public health policy and promotion practice (DiClemente et al., 2013). This is obtained by a step by step, all equally important, process in what is known as the “Nine Step Stairway to Effective Evaluation”.
The very first step to the “Nine Step Stairway to Effective Evaluation” is to define the research population. Population can mean anybody. So, it is needs to be clear as to who we are focusing on. The specification of the focused population is defined by the evaluation researcher. This can include, age, gender, race, culture, or socio-economic status just to name a few (DiClemente et al., 2013).
Identifying stakeholders and collaborators is the second step to the “Nine Step Stairway to Effective Evaluation”. Although all steps are essential, this is probably the most important because an extensive review of who is involved and who will be affected by the evaluation is identified (DiClemente et al., 2013). Once identified, it is critical to note that there may be needs or issues that may need to be addressed from all those involved so it would behoove one to be open to suggestions. Bottom line is to collaborate (DiClemente et al., 2013).
Step 3 is defining the evaluation objective, which is “a general statement that conveys the purpose of the planned study in precise terms” (DiClemente et al., 2013, pp. 300). Goals are more manageable when evaluation objectives are precise and contain applicable information. This ensures that the evaluation gets direct accurate work. Thoroughly reviewing the relevant empirical literature for previous evaluation studies is an effective strategy to avoid any pitfalls of uncertainty (DiCelmente et al, 2013, pp. 300). This detailed review can be tedious but is well worth it overall for it can expose other methodological paths that other evaluation researchers may have avoided. For new evaluators, being able to add onto research after achieving an understanding is an opportunity “to build on and...