Getting to Outcomes, 2004: Promoting Accountability through Methods and Tools for Planning, Implementation and Evaluation

By Matthew Chinman; Pamela Imm et al. | Go to book overview

Introduction

The primary purpose of this manual is to help communities improve the quality of their programs aimed at preventing or reducing drug use among youth. Funders are increasingly mandating “accountability” for the public or private funds they provide by demanding high-quality outcome data to determine the success of programs. This manual describes a community planning, implementation, and evaluation modelorganized as ten accountability questions—to help your agency, school, or community coalition conduct needs assessments, select best practice programs that fit your community, and to effectively plan, implement, and evaluate those programs. With high-quality process and outcome data, your group will be more likely to get long-term funding for these approaches.

Although this manual was originally developed to help communities plan and carry out programs and policies aimed at preventing youth drug use, it may also be useful for prevention efforts targeted at other youth behavior problems such as crime, teen pregnancy, or delinquency.


Definition of Accountability

The term accountability is basic to an understanding of Getting to Outcomes 2004 (GTO-04). We define accountability as the systematic inclusion of critical elements of program planning, implementation, and evaluation in order to achieve results. In the GTO-04 system, program development and program evaluation are integral to promoting program accountability. Asking and answering the ten questions begins the accountability process. Many excellent resources discuss the importance of each program element and some are found in the references section. We believe, however, that by linking these program elements systematically, programs can succeed in achieving their desired outcomes and demonstrate to their funders the kind of accountability that will ensure continued funding.


A Comprehensive Approach to Successful
Programs

There are entire books written on each of the program elements discussed in GTO-04 (e.g., needs assessment, best practice resources, evaluation methods, etc.). We gratefully

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