Utilization of internal evaluation results by community mental health organizations: Credibility in different forms

Posted on November 19, 2015

A new study published in Evaluation and Program Planning shares lesson learned from the Minding Our Bodies project.

Free online access to the full article is available until December 11, 2015 at http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1RvtFY2iclghv.

Utilization of internal evaluation results by community mental health organizations: Credibility in different forms
Evaluation and Program Planning
Volume 54, February 2016, Pages 11–18

Abstract
Internal evaluations are numerous but the literature is largely focused on external evaluations. There have been few explorations of the factors affecting the use of findings from internal evaluations that are carried out by program staff in community organizations. This study examined the instrumental use of internal evaluation findings within 19 community mental health organizations in Ontario, Canada. All but one respondent reported instrumental use in their organization, using the evaluation findings to make program-related decisions. For these non-controversial programs, qualities such as the ability of internal evaluators to identify relevant information, their role/expertise within the organization and the consistency of evaluation findings with current understanding appeared to influence use more strongly than evaluator objectivity.