Process and Outcome Measures

The Evidence Generation initiative assists affiliated agencies with measurement challenges. The EvGen measurement matrix identifies gaps in each agency’s data collection efforts and encourages them to distinguish between process and outcome measures. Both types of measurement, of course, are important for evaluation research. [ read more ]

Logic Models

Many organizations have already developed logic models, but their models often originated with funder specifications or as a mandatory component in an application for grant funding. If your organization fouund it relatively easy to reach consensus on its logic model, it probably needs to be redone. [ read more ]

At-Risk Youth

The term “at-risk” is widely used in the fields of youth justice and preventive services, but there can be many definition of the term. Youth-serving programs need to identify clearly what risks youth face and how the extent and effects of those risks are to be measured. [ read more ]

Follow-Up Guidebook

followupguide_thumbAgencies should follow up with former clients to assess their overall effectiveness. Following up with clients helps staff to learn about the long-term effects of programs and to adjust their efforts to increase their impact. Follow-up should begin at intake and it should be as simple and as seamless as possible. The Evidence Generation team created this Guidebook to help agencies conceptualize improved follow-up procedures.

What is the SPEP?

The Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) is a tool for comparing juvenile justice programs to what has been found to be effective in the research literature . The SPEP creates a metric by assigning points to programs according to how closely their characteristics match those associated with the best recidivism outcomes for similar programs as identified in a metaanalysis of evaluation studies. [ read more ]


A variety of policies, programs and practices are used to prevent and reduce youth crime and violence. Many of these could potentially be based on research evidence, but establishing rigorous evidence requires considerable investments of time and resources. Only a relatively small number of all possible crime-reduction approaches have been tested sufficiently to merit the label, “evidence-based.” [ read more ]

Effect Size

Significance levels can be misconstrued. In the policy arena, “effect size” increasingly serves as an alternative to statistical significance. Measures of effect size can be constructed in various ways, but all of the measures have a common function, which is to estimate the magnitude of a treatment effect given a specified level of intervention. [ read more ]

Theory of Change

A theory of change is a set of testable propositions about how a program or policy achieves its goals. An effective theory of change describes the process by which change is produced, and articulates how and why a set of activities is expected to influence an intended target. [ read more ]