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Duerr Evaluation Resources (DER) has extensive experience with all of the traditional tools of the evaluation trade, as well as some new ones! Listed below are just some of the ways our staff have used their talents in federal, state, and local evaluations.
Duerr Evaluation is a leader in the emerging field of web-based data collection. DER has developed systems both for public users and password-protected internal systems. Working with Filemaker Pro database software as a core tool, the firm has developed custom data entry and retrieval systems for the California Department of Education, Los Angeles Unified School District, the Committee for Children (“Second Step” program), and several smaller clients.
Duerr Evaluation has developed a proprietary web-based data collection and reporting system for the evaluation of elementary school intervention programs. This valuable tool uses a nationally recognized teacher assessment of children’s “school ready” behaviors, providing on line forms, pre-post analysis, and data reports. Called Escape, you can view all the details at www.EscapeEvaluation.com.
“Reporting” really does not tell the story here, because written reports are only one way of achieving the goal for which DER always strives: sharing information with clients and stakeholders in a way that facilitates understanding and, in most cases, changes for program improvement. To this end, we advocate a system of reporting which may include: 1) facilitated reporting meetings and planning sessions, 2) one or two page, graphic heavy summary reports for public consumption, 3) three to five page summaries for busy professionals, and 4) much longer, highly detailed technical reports which thoroughly explain our methodologies, findings, and conclusions.
DER developed and successfully marketed a case management and reporting system for local Healthy Start clients. Using this system, clients kept data locally, then pushed a button to run all of the mandatory year-end reports! The firm has developed another half-dozen systems for clients in individual projects, saving staff time and helping assure accurate data collection.
DER always builds a custom computer database questionnaire system for all phone surveys. Trained Research Assistants--not clerical staff--make calls. Our focus is to achieve extremely high response rates with valid, reliable answers. We routinely obtain 85 percent response rates for calls to program staff and stakeholders. Phone surveys are a great way to obtain a great deal of highly detailed information in a cost effective manner.
These surveys cost less than phone surveys, but are generally suited to collecting less qualitative information or when costs dictate this as the only way to reach a wide audience. Again, high response rates are the norm at DER: a response rate of 83 percent was achieved from physicians (one of the toughest groups!) in a Department of Health Services survey a few years ago.
These groups are a great way to explore ideas and get people interacting and responding to one another. DER uses them both in needs assessments and in evaluations, and has experience working with high-risk teens and adults.
Projects often need data from other agencies or institutions that help show the progress of their clients. DER understands the challenges in asking agencies to share data and has a tremendous track record in developing partnerships for data sharing, including sensitive data such as criminal histories and child abuse records.
Adolescent alcohol prevention evaluation