Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Staish Verma

Abstract

In evaluation practice, Evaluability Assessment (EA) is recognized as an affective tool to determine if a plausible program logic exists before the effort is made to evaluate impact. Applying EA in the Cooperative Extension System, if programs lacked plausibility, the process was used as a design tool. Following the steps recommended in this process, a representative work group of Extension agents, specialists and administrators: (1) identified and developed an educational effects matrix for each of five target audiences of the 4-H program--4-H youth, other youth, family members, leaders and policy makers; (2) abstracted themes emerging from telephone interviews of 95 stakeholders; and (3) developed a program logic model comprised of seven main events, namely, Assess Needs, Define Extension's Role and Nature of Commitment, Assess Resources and Develop Program, Acquire And/Or Train Staff, Initiate Networks and Coalitions, Create Awareness and Promote Program, and Provide Educational Experiences, the underlying activities and indicators for each event and the possible barriers and barrier reductions impeding the flow of the model's events to ultimate consequences. Based on the above, the work group concluded that: (1) The Louisiana 4-H program has a positive image. (2) The Louisiana 4-H program should expand its audience and subject matter. (3) Administrative approval of and a commitment to accept the model with its implications were critical to its implementation. The following recommendations were made by the researcher to follow up the study from a programming viewpoint as well as in consideration of the EA process. (1) A strategy needs to be developed to adequately explain the EA process to administrators. (2) The Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service should actively pursue the hiring of personnel from non-traditional academic backgrounds. (3) Additional research should be conducted to determine methods of increasing the use of evaluability assessment in the Cooperative Extension System while decreasing some of its limitations. (4) The Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service needs to fully implement the developed program logic model with all its underpinnings. (5) Louisiana 4-H agents should be made aware of the positive image of 4-H and Extension personnel across the state.

Pages

236

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