Program Evaluation & Assessing Impact

Our researchers have unique expertise and decades of experience executing, applying, and translating research for social change. 

Much of our expertise and experience is related to program evaluation and assessing impact of socio-psychological and structural prevention/intervention programs implemented in the community in collaboration with community-supportive entities. 

Program Impact

We engage in program evaluation to assess impact of the program and to examine the program’s effectiveness in addressing the issue for which it was designed. 

We assess impact in multiple ways, examining program impact on systems of care; access to care; the provision and coordination of care; program management; as well as impacts on individual program participants and their experiences and behaviors. 

We examine impact focusing not only on areas and outcomes in which we expect the programs to impact but also focusing on identifying and responding to unexpected program impacts, which can be positive or negative. 

An Example of Program Evaluation

For programs designed to address the opioid epidemic, we examine the effectiveness of those programs in terms of reducing substance misuse and abuse and in improving the mental health of program participants. 

For example, we have partnered with law enforcement, behavioral health treatment providers, courts, and local government to increase access to comprehensive substance abuse treatment and related services for people who have substance use issues and to provide recovery support services by involving patrol officers in providing a brief intervention to community members who have substance use issues encouraging and connecting them with a treatment provider instead of arresting them.

For more information, see the U-MATTER and the Comprehensive Evaluation of the Deflection Program projects on the Health & Housing Security research page.

Ongoing Program Improvement

We, and our partners, utilize evaluation findings to inform ongoing improvement of programs themselves and the management and implementation of the programs. We adjust our programs and program implementation as needed, continually working toward longer-term project goals.

We also work with our partners to apply and translate evaluation findings to inform stakeholders and future collaborative projects and grant applications. 

Our Research-to-Practice Aims 

  • Disseminate research and evaluation findings in a timely manner using multiple mediums and outlets
  • Inform related areas of study
  • Increase the extent to which practice is informed by research
  • Inform widespread program implementation
  • Encourage policy change informed by current research and knowledge in related fields of study and practice

Sharing Evaluation Findings

Our researchers share research and evaluation findings with partners, project funders, and other stakeholders in reports and research briefs written to reach a broad audience of scholars, practitioners, legislators, community members, and other stakeholders. 

In addition, our researchers and partners engage in panel discussions and presentations locally and at national conferences to inform local and national practice, research, scholarship, and initiatives. 

Our researchers also disseminate research and evaluation findings in online publications and articles published in scholarly journals. Visit the Publications & Presentations page to see a listing of recent publications.

Please contact Josephine Korchmaros, SIROW Director, at, if you are interested in learning more about program evaluation, assessing impact, or collaborating with SIROW. 

M.A. in Program Design & Evaluation

We share our unique expertise and experience related to program evaluation; assessing impact; and executing, applying, and translating research for social change by offering an M.A. program in Program Design & Evaluation

Through this graduate program, we are helping to develop a global workforce equipped to execute, apply, and translate research to address the most pressing challenges impacting our local and global communities.

For more information about the M.A. in Program Design & Evaluation, contact SIROW’s Director of Graduate Studies, Beth Meyerson, at