Rigorous Evaluation

Framework for program evaluation, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Framework for program evaluation, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Evaluation is a core research capacity of the Illinois Prevention Research Center (PRC).

We evaluate policy and environmental approaches to improving community health and lowering disease risk for vulnerable populations. Our core applied public health research project evaluates the effects of a Chicago initiative to renovate over 300 playlots. We provide technical assistance to foster the development of our community partners’ capacity to conduct quality evaluations of public health programs and initiatives. We also conduct an ongoing, rigorous evaluations of all of our efforts, and use this information to improve Illinois PRC efforts overall.

RESEARCH EXPERTISE

Our researchers have expertise and scientific experience in evaluating policies and environmental approaches aimed at improving nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco-related health behaviors to reduce chronic disease risk and to reduce disparities in these health behaviors and outcomes. Learn more about our research.

TRAINING

The Illinois PRC in partnership with the MidAmerica Center for Public Health Practice provides training and technical assistance to increase the capacity of local and statewide community stakeholders to evaluate the impact of policy, program, and environmental changes made to improve public health. Learn more about our training.

TARGETING HEALTH DISPARITIES

The Illinois PRC identifies and addresses racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and rural disparities in all aspects of our research, community engagement, training, communication, and evaluation to improve health behaviors and reduce related disease risks and outcomes among disadvantaged populations.

RESPONSIVENESS TO COMMUNITY NEEDS

Illinois PRC actively engages community members and their advocates in our research. The center captures and tracks community requests and needs to ensure responsiveness to formal requests of our partners, feedback from our advisors, inquiries sent to our e-mail address. Learn more about our principles of community engagement.

Illinois PRC rigorously and continuously evaluates our core elements and activities to improve our quality, increase our productivity, and maximize our impact on the health of Illinois, especially among communities disproportionately burdened by chronic disease.

The logic model of the Illinois Prevention Research Center. (Click for larger image.)

The logic model of the Illinois Prevention Research Center. (Click for larger image)

The CDC’s logic model for the national PRC program influenced the development of our evaluation plan, as seen in our logic model on the right.

Three key questions guide the PRC in evaluating our aims and intended outcomes:

1. How is the Illinois PRC contributing to…

  • Widespread use of evidence-based programs and policies?
  • Increases in translation of public health research, practice and policy?
  • Changes in public health systems or the built environment?

2. What types of partnerships have enhanced community capacity to conduct prevention research and increased the numbers of skilled health professionals and community members?

3. How has the Illinois PRC expanded resources to conduct applied public health prevention research and increased recognition and support for local and national PRC related research and activities?

SCIENTIFIC LEADERSHIP

Karen Peters, DrPH, directs evaluation efforts of the Illinois PRC. Dr. Peters served as the Illinois PRC’s evaluator in a previous funding period and has conducted numerous evaluations of public health efforts at the national, state and local levels. Most recently, she evaluated the Illinois Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center, funded by the CDC.

For more information about evaluation in the Illinois PRC, contact Dr. Peters at kpeters@uic.edu.