Regularly Monitor Progress on Programmatic Implementation

regularly-monitor-progressMeasuring program implementation can provide a wealth of important information, like the number of employees reached, the program’s operating costs or the most successful locations in a multisite program.2,3 A process evaluation also helps keep implementation on track and determines whether quality standards were met, which is especially important when programs underperform and you want to determine whether the cause was the design itself or poor implementation.2,3 Research suggests that implementation is one of the most important factors affecting program success and outcomes, and that implementation can vary widely between sites, meaning that studying implementation and planning future improvements is crucial.3,5

Process evaluations regularly include several key components, and monitoring each throughout implementation enables you to make adjustments as needed. Process measures examine all the steps and activities taken in implementing a program and the outputs they generate. Fidelity is the overall assessment of whether the program was implemented as planned, and many of the other measures are included in this component.6 These include: dose delivered (how many units were delivered, e.g., the number of pamphlets distributed), dose received (which includes exposure, or how much participants actively engage with the program, and their satisfaction) and reach (participation rate).6 You may also include recruitment procedures and how the context of the environment influenced the program to further understand the implementation process.6