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Monitoring and Evaluation

The Breakdown: How do we monitor and evaluate impact?

Performance management and the evaluation of our effectiveness are critical to AALEAD’s success and sustainability. Our programs focus on three outcome areas: Educational Empowerment, Identity, and Leadership. We set goals for each outcome area and track specific activities (outputs) for every youth enrolled in programs to make sure all youth are provided the opportunities and activities that we believe will impact outcomes.

Ways we gather data:

    • Conducting frequent reflection activities with youth to collect youth feedback and learn what worked and what needs improvement
    • Recording program attendance to monitor the number of youth participating in each program activity, workshop, or event and accessing the opportunities we provide to track our progress in reaching AALEAD program goals
    • Collecting youth report cards to monitor academic progress and identify any youth who may be facing academic challenges to provide individualized support
    • Reviewing monthly mentor logs completed by mentors to monitor mentoring pairs’ progress toward reaching AALEAD program goals
    • Administering pre- and post-program surveys for school year programs, as well as administering satisfaction surveys to youth and guardians to measure the outcomes of our programming. Our pre- and post- surveys use measures from PerformWell, a database of survey tools, that we chose in consultation with staff from Child Trends, a research organization.

The process of collecting and reviewing data is ongoing throughout the year, with staff inputting data into our data management software, Apricot. Data entered into Apricot is reviewed at supervisory 1-on-1 meetings and monthly programs meetings to assess staff progress toward reaching goals, identify any weaknesses in program implementation, and flag any individual youth who may need additional support.

The Build Up: Why do we monitor and evaluate impact?

With the data AALEAD collects each year, we are able to evaluate our process, determine how faithfully we follow our program model and how many youth completed all of the activities that we provided. We are able to examine if there are patterns in activity gaps or in youth who did not participate in specific activities. We also examine youth and parent satisfaction, self-reported outcomes, and with the pre- and post-program surveys and comparisons to previous years, we look for hints at how our programs may be impacting youth outcomes. Of course, many other factors influence youth outcomes and we are trying to determine AALEAD’s specific impact. Currently, data specific to low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth is sparse. AALEAD is in a unique position to meet the specific needs of our target youth, including needs bound by cultural differences and language barriers that are going unmet and under the radar. We collect this data now to build a database for future research. In the near future, we hope to have a professional evaluator examine cohorts of our youth, triangulate, and help us to determine what specific activities have the greatest impact on our youth. AALEAD uses performance management results to continuously improve our programs and ensure we are reaching all youth who are in need.

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