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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Evaluating the Outcomes of Domestic Violence Service Providers: Some Practical Considerations and Strategies

NRCDV Publications
General Material
Published Date
January, 2001

Evaluating our work can provide us with valuable information we need to continually improve our programs.

  • Survivors should be involved in the process of evaluating our work, from conception through interpretation of findings.
  • The safety and well-being of the women we serve must always take precedence over gathering data. We should design questions and procedures accordingly, and include feedback and input from the women who use our services.
  • We should always take the time to explain why we are asking women for information. If we explain that their input will be used to improve our services, women will usually be happy to answer some questions. It is disrespectful to introduce questions with only 'I need you to answer some questions' or 'I need you to fill this out.'
  • We shouldn't request any more information from women than is necessary, and we need to be committed to using this information to understand and improve upon our services.
  • Outcome evaluation assesses program impact: What occurred as a result of the program?
  • Outcomes must be measurable, realistic, and philosophically tied to program activities.
  • Outcome questions should be designed to discover whether or not women attained outcomes they identified as important to them.
  • It is important to review outcome information with staff, volunteers, funders, and survivors. This sends a message that these outcomes are important, and gives us an opportunity to discuss, as a group, what is working and what needs improvement.