Tuesday, September 11, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 46 – Conduct A Process Evaluation

Back in 2009, I did a series of posts covering the excellent book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The book is published by the US DOJ's Problem Oriented Policing Center (POP Center). Because of the value I think this book has for crime analysts, and policing in general, I am going to re-post this series on here on the blog.

We’re up to Step 46 – Conduct a process evaluation in our journey through the book, Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. In previous chapters we’ve covered identifying a problem, analyzing problems and finding solutions to the problems. Now we’re going to look at evaluating our solutions to see if they are having the desired effect.

In Step 45 we saw in the example that not every response is implemented correctly, and when that occurs we often reduce the effectiveness of our solutions to problems. The authors put it this way:
A response is a complex piece of machinery with a variety of components, any of which can go wrong (Step 45). A process evaluation examines which components were carried out successfully. The process evaluation checklist highlights the questions that you should ask.
There are four main reasons that a response can go haywire in the implementation:
  1. You may have an inadequate understanding of the problem.
  2. Components of the project have failed
  3. Offenders may react negatively to your response (Step 11).
  4. There are unexpected external changes that have an impact on the response.
If we determine through our process evaluation that we are implementing our solution correctly, we can now measure the impact our solution is or isn’t having on our problem. In the next few chapters we’ll cover impact evaluation starting with Step 47 – Know how to use controls.

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