Hancock Fellowship – Qualitative Human Service Program Evaluation: Developing and Field Testing a Manual with Indiana HIV Prevention Programs

Director: Fred Piercy, PhD, director, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Department of Child Development and Family Studies

Assistant: Sharon Deacon, MS, doctoral student in marriage and family therapy, Department of Child Development and Family Studies

Funding: Center for Families, $5,000

Term of Project: August 1998-August 1999

Description: Qualitative evaluation methods help human service workers capture the personal impact of their programs – the stories of participants and the meanings behind the statistics. They also engage consumers of services as co-evaluators of these services.

In this project, we developed a manual to teach qualitative evaluation methods to human service providers. We also conducted a training workshop in qualitative evaluation for directors of selected HIV/AIDS prevention programs in Indiana and then consulted with them as they attempted to apply qualitative evaluation methods within their own programs. Moreover, we made a number of professional presentations on qualitative evaluation methods to state and national conferences and distributed the qualitative evaluation manual widely.

Evidence of Impact: This project resulted in a clear and engaging training manual that demystifies qualitative evaluation for human service workers. We directly reached 11 HIV/AIDS prevention workers through our one-day workshop and follow-up consultations, and have distributed more than 100 training manuals to interested professionals. We have also made eight professional presentations on the subject of qualitative evaluation and have written eight professional publications on this subject.