All facilitation programs, whether in the pilot stage or after decades of implementation, will benefit from having a systematic plan for evaluating program effectiveness as well as implementation. The outcomes you and your stakeholders would like your facilitation program to have in the short and long-term, and the priority your agency gives to IEP facilitation, will help determine how you design your program. As you map out what resources will be allocated to the IEP facilitation program (also known as inputs), ensure that you are leveraging partnerships, existing infrastructure, and personnel, as much as possible to minimize costs.
A key benefit of quality evaluation beyond demonstrating program effectiveness, especially early in program implementation, is for continuous quality improvement. Striving to improve quality requires continual feedback and evaluation data from stakeholders, facilitators, and participants. Feedback can come from a variety of data sources, including surveys, interviews, self-report and data tracked in your facilitation data system. Pay attention to the level of burden you are placing on the people you serve when you ask them for more data. Make sure that the data are not already being collected in another way and that the information is necessary to inform program improvements. If you are not sure how you will use the data, refrain from collecting it.