The model that I would choose to evaluate the Prenatal Exercise Program for Aboriginal Women is Sufflebeam’s CIPP (Context, Input, Process, Product) model. There are several reasons for choosing this method.
Context – “What needs to be done?”
The context of this study is the pre and post natal health of Aboriginal Women in Saskatoon. The study was funded by the National Health Research and Development program and is not-for-profit. The goal of the program is two-fold: to educate Aboriginal women in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) and to improve the physical health of these women. The authors of the program thought this to be a worthwhile program as the Aboriginal population is growing across Canada, and many Canadian cities would benefit from similar programming.
Sufflebeam’s CIPP model of evaluation lends itself well to non-profit organizations, community development, community-based youth programs and community foundations (Sufflebean, 2007). This program fits the above criteria quite well.
The main question behind context is “What needs to be done?”. The answer is that the education and well-being of Aboriginal women is the goal of this program. Having a clearly defined outcome is one reason for choosing Sufflebeam’s model.
Input – “How should it be done?”
“How should it be done?” This is the question to be asked when evaluating the ‘Input’ of the project. This program has clearly defined steps and stages.
- The program was conducted in Saskatchewan’s largest urban centre.
- The program was extended beyond the existing Aboriginal GDM population to all pregnant Aboriginal women.
- The program reached 7% of the eligible population.
- The program was offered free of charge.
Process – “Is it being done?”
The Klomp, Dyck, & Sheppard article provides a potential evaluator with strong, clear evidence of the path of the project. They provide data on:
- Cost for the user – The program is free of charge.
- Date and time of the program – The program is on Wednesday afternoons.
- Evidence that their program ideas are rooted in research – The program is based on guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
- Specific descriptions and data on a typical session (warm-up, aerobic activity, cool down) is provided.
- Data and information is provided on the personalization of the program – self-monitoring and self-pacing.
- The look and cadence of a typical class is explained – types and variety of exercises available (walking, water aerobics, select machines, etc).
- Extra services provided to the client are described – Pre-natal consultations, pamphlets, access to other healthcare professionals.
Product – “Did it Succeed?”
Although the article does not offer a concise summary, there is evidence throughout the article which would permit the evaluator to answer this question and evaluate the “end-product” of this program.
Here is some of the information I found that helps to answer the question “Did it succeed?”
- The authors cite that due to popular demand water aerobics classes were moved to every-other week. This is evidence that there was strong demand for this criterion of evaluation.
- Participants in the program started to bring a friend (for drop in and moral support).
- The program allowed for a flexible drop-in format to meet the needs of its participants.
- Women were encouraged to attend after child-birth.
- Participants were telephoned a day before each session as a reminder.
These four questions, along with Sufflebeam’s CIPP EVALUATION MODEL CHECKLIST are intended to evaluate the longevity of a program. This is a program that is intended to have long-lasting effects on its participants – and the broader community. The GDM health initiatives go beyond pre-post natal health, to the general health and well-being of Aboriginal women. As stated earlier in this piece, the Aboriginal population is growing. Since this was a two-year project (1995-1997), the data produce from an evaluation would be summative. This end-data would will be useful for future programs in Saskatoon, and other Canadian cities wishing to develop similar programs.
Although I found Sufflebeam’s CIPP model the best fit for a program evaluation, there are some aspects of this program which may not be best-suited for this model. Information regarding the cost and sustainability of funding were not addressed in this report which is one of the areas where a CIPP model will focus its evaluation. Also, the CIPP model evaluation questions the needs of the end-user and if those needs have been met. The report includes some facts and observation, but no anecdotal evidence (interviews and personal interviews of clients). Sufflebeam’s evaluation method also looks into the “lessons learned” from the program. Although strong data was provided on the process of the program, there was very little concluding data or evidence. This would make a proper CIPP evaluation difficult to complete.
The main goal of a CIPP evaluation model is “not to prove, but to improve”. (Sufflebeam, 2007). An evaluation needs to consider a programs merit, it’s worth, its probity, and lessons learned. Compared to other evaluation methods that I investigated such as Stake’s Countenance model, and Rippey’s Transactional Model, Sufflebeam’s CIPP model is the most appropriate based on the data provided in this report. The report showed the merit of the program (by providing data and a vision of how the project wanted to impact the lives of aboriginal women), the worth of the program (by providing evidence that the women involved were able to make small improvements and better choices in their lives and that these women gained access to health care professionals and resource supports), the probity of the program (by showing that what the program was doing was rooted in best-practice and research), and that there were lessons learned (based on evidence provided in the body of the report even though a complete conclusive summary was not provided).
Klomp, J., Dyck, R., and Sheppard, S. (2003). Description and evaluation of a prenatal exercise program for urban Aboriginal women. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 27: 231-238
Sufflebeam, D. (2007) CIPP Evaluation Model Checklist [Second Edition]: A tool for applying the CIPP Model to assess long-term enterprise. Retrieved January, 17, 2012 from: http://www.wmich.edu/evalctr/archive_checklists/cippchecklist_mar07.pdf