Assessing the Impact of a Mobile Family Resource Service for Parents and Young Children
Authors: John Guenther and Margaret Arvier
Abstract: Programs typically produce activities that have an impact on service users or clients with measurable impacts in terms of service use outcomes. However health promotion activities and community information initiatives often do not have ‘clients’ in the same way. Impact evaluation of such programs can therefore be more problematic. This paper reports on an outcomes evaluation of a health and community information program, described as a mobile family resource centre, to demonstrate how impact may be measured. The evaluation draws on program logic assumptions but uses these in a way that informs the development of an impact model. The evaluation has found that while some of the impact can be measured quantitatively in terms of increased uptake of information, the impact can also be measured qualitatively in terms changes in access to social networks and improvements in interagency networks. The paper concludes that impact of health promotion and community information programs like the mobile family resource centre can be effectively measured using innovative approaches to data collection and analysis.