Briefly describe the program/policy of interest. Identify and discuss the theoretical underpinnings of the program/policy. Comment on how the program theory was identified and selected
Briefly describe the program/policy of interest
Paying attention to theory reflects the growing rigor/sophistication and higher stakes associated with program evaluation. As cited in Grembowski (2016), “programs are more likely to be effective when they are based on theory, compared to those lacking a theoretical base (p. 29).”
Thus, for this assignment, identify and critique a theory that can be used to explain or provide strategies for the desired outcome of the program you are evaluating. Be sure there is alignment with the theory and the focus of the program evaluation (e.g. behavior theory [individual level]; relational coordination [team-based]; transformational leadership [leader], or organizational learning [organizational]).
This assignment aligns with the following objectives:
1. Describe the key concepts, goals, and standards of program evaluation.
2. Identify health behavior theories to inform program actions and guide evaluation of outcomes.
This assignment is a short (3-5 page) paper describing and applying a health behavior theory, or other relevant theoretical assumptions (e.g., change, leadership, organizational, learning, complexity) that explain the anticipated changes resulting from the program activities. The theory may be an explicit formal theory or test hypotheses of reasoned/anticipated causation.
Develop the paper according to the following guidance:
• Briefly describe the program/policy of interest
• Identify and discuss the theoretical underpinnings of the program/policy. Comment on how the program theory was identified and selected (e.g., your understanding/assumptions, conversations with program staff, use of existing formal theory)
• Discuss the category or type of theory being used (e.g., health behavior change, educational); its discipline origins and evolution; key concepts; unit of analysis targeted (e.g., individual, team, organization, community).
• Research and describe if theory has been used effectively in similar programs or studies (e.g., Stages of Change theory used effectively in addiction research). If this is the first time use of theory, discuss why you chose the theory and why it will be novel and useful for the program.
• Comment on how well the theory explains the relationships between program activities and anticipated outcomes and any potential weaknesses in linkages revealed.
• Finally, conclude the paper by discussing the advantage of articulating the theoretical underpinnings of the program in evaluation.