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Program evaluation guide
Knowing that their program makes a difference is essential for AOD organisations. Evaluation provides the means to assess the impact of AOD programs, and identify areas where they can be improved.

Evaluation findings are needed to report to stakeholders and funding bodies, for reporting, benchmarking and to apply for grants. They also form an important engagement tool to be used with clients and staff, providing tangible evidence of a program's value and the impact of participation.

In an environment where programs must demonstrate an evidence base and continuous quality improvement is the norm, evaluation is now the expectation for AOD organisations.

NADA's new Program evaluation guide has been developed in partnership with Argyle Research & Training. It contains:

- an overview of evaluation, its benefits, challenges and how to overcome them
- advice on engaging an external evaluation consultant or university researcher
- information on setting up data and support systems for successful evaluation
- a step-by-step guide to planning and conducting an evaluation, and reporting evaluation results
- information for organisations looking to enhance their evaluations, including how to use follow-up data, client feedback, stories and case studies
- advice on how to develop a 'research culture' within your organisation.

This resource was developed with funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health. It forms part of a suite of practice enhancement tools that includes NADA's (2014) Benchmarking and (2015) Enhanced performance management guides. These resources provide guidance on how to use the findings from evaluations to benchmark against other services and programs, and to enhance organisational performance, respectively.

NADA members will receive a hardcopy of this resource in the post.

For upcoming program evaluation training, refer to the events page.

NADA would like to thank those that contributed to the development of this resource: Family Drug Support, Kedesh Rehabilitation Services, Manly Drug Education and Counselling Centre, Noffs Foundation, and WHOS.