Program evaluation is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer questions about projects, policies and programs, particularly about their effectiveness and efficiency. This extra layer of formal evaluation is asked for by more and more federal and non-federal grant sponsors. Typically, this process should account for 10-15% of your budget. Below is information about two centers on campus that provide evaluation services at a cost to UNM PIs. Some evaluation planning tools made available by UNM College of Education professor, Christina Perry are also available.
The Institute for Social Research (ISR) is a leading provider of program evaluations and policy research in New Mexico. ISR offers services in a wide range of topic areas. Known as an authority on adult and juvenile justice issues in New Mexico, ISR staff members and faculty affiliates also have expertise in the fields of education, economics, substance abuse treatment programs, poverty and homelessness, domestic violence, employee workloads and staffing levels. Their staff includes sociologists, economists, and government policy experts.
Center for Applied Research and Analysis (CARA)
CARA provides evaluation research, basic applied research, training, and technical assistance on a variety of social science projects especially ones involving the criminal justice system.
New Mexico Statistical Analysis Center (NMSAC)
The NMSAC conducts applied research concerning criminal justice issues relevant to the State of New Mexico. Much of the research conducted at the NMSAC aims to improve our understanding of the social and structural dynamics that affect criminal behavior, crime rates, and related social problems in New Mexico. In addition, working with various criminal justice agencies, the NMSAC conducts evaluation studies to assess the impact of various crime prevention and intervention efforts around the State. NMSAC's goal is to engage scholars, practitioners, and policy makers in dialogue about crime and its control. In addition to crime centered work, the NMSAC also engages in evaluation more broadly.
The Cradle to Career Policy Institute (CCPI) facilitates education policy research across the University and enhances communication among university-based researchers, policy makers, and practitioners statewide in support of the search for solutions to the P-20 education problems that face New Mexico. They provide comprehensive consultation, planning and evaluation services for education related agencies and constituencies and conduct rigorous program evaluation across a variety of settings as well as provide evaluation expertise and services to diverse agencies, organizations, business, and industry. CCPI staff also help to build capacity for school reform by identifying what matters for student success and school improvement, creating critical indicators to chart progress, and conducting theory-driven evaluation to identify how programs and policies are working.
CCPI provides data visualization tools depicting a variety of projects they have conducted throughout the state of New Mexico's education and health systems.
CCPI faculty and researchers also make available a wide array of publications and presentations they have compiled and presented since 2011 relevant to education policy within New Mexico. A searchable database allows users to search for relevant reports by author, keyword, year, type, or title. The Center's most recent reports include an HV FCC Phase 2 Report, New Mexico 2016 Head Start Needs Assessment, NM FCC HV Outreach Initiative Evaluation, and Status of STEM at UNM. You can read more about those reports HERE.