Evaluation Resources

Below are links to online resources to assist with program evaluation, including websites dedicated to program evaluation, articles, and data sources.


Program Evaluation Websites

Bureau of Justice Assistance, Center for Research Partnerships and Program Evaluation

This site covers a wide range of evaluation topics including logic models, performance measures, program goals and objectives. Also included are links to additional evaluation resources available on other websites.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Program Performance and Evaluation Office

This site includes evaluation documents, workbooks, and tools. Topics include developing evaluation tools, logic models, indicators and performance measures, and evaluation reporting.

UC Davis: Tobacco Control Evaluation Center

While specific to tobacco control, this web site houses a comprehensive collection of program evaluation resources that can be applied to any domain.  Topics covered include evaluation planning, data collection, analysis, and reporting. Within each of these topics, there are multiple information sheets, tables, and examples.

Western Michigan University: Evaluation Checklists

This site includes checklists for all aspects of program evaluation, including evaluation management, engaging stakeholders, applying specific evaluation approaches, designing the evaluation, interpreting evidence, reporting results and promoting use.


Program Evaluation Articles

Hiring and Working with an Evaluator

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center
A document providing guidance on working with an evaluator, including the advantages and disadvantages, selection, developing an evaluation plan, specifying evaluation products, and maximizing collaboration.

Introduction to Program Evaluation for Public Health Programs: A Self-Study Guide

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
While this article focuses on public health programs, it provides information that can be applied across disciplines. It includes a detailed description of all aspects of program evaluation including engaging stakeholders, program description, evaluation design, collecting and interpreting data, and sharing lessons learned.

Is this a Good Quality Outcome Evaluation Report? A guide for Practitionersopens PDF file

Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Center for Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement
Document describing how to develop a quality evaluation report. It includes information on different evaluation designs and the quality of the evaluation (e.g., sample size, outcome measures, statistical analysis, etc.).

Juvenile Justice Program Evaluation: An Overview (2nd ed.)

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center
A step by-step-guide on developing and implementing program evaluation. Topics include: defining the problem, implementing evidence-based programming, developing program logic, identifying measures, collecting and analyzing data, report findings, and reassessing program logic.

Strategies for Evaluating Small Juvenile Justice Programs

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center
While the focus of this article is on juvenile justice programs, it can be applied to small, adult programs as well. Topics include identifying goals in a small program, what program planning activities are necessary, and effective strategies for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data efficiently.

How to Develop a Success Story

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This document provides steps for developing a success story that successfully highlights the achievements and progress of a program. Topics include the importance of success stories, choosing a story, style tips, example success story, and links to other sample success stories.

Tell Your Story: Guidelines for Preparing Useful Evaluation Reportsopens PDF file

U.C. Davis, Tobacco Control Evaluation Center
While this document is designed for grantees submitting final reports to California Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Control Unit, it provides detailed guidelines for writing an evaluation report, including a sample report, which can be applied to any domain.

The Logic Model for Program Planning and Evaluation 

University of Idaho Extension
This document describes the steps in developing an effective logic model, as well as a description of the components of a logic model.


Links to Data

American Community Survey (ACS)

U.S. Census Bureau
Annual survey which collects demographic, social, economic, and housing data. Data at the national, state, county, and city level are available. The California State Data Center in the Department of Finance creates tables and summary files for 1- and 5-year estimates from the ACS data that are specific to California. These data may eliminate the need to search the ACS data file and is recommended as the first source for ACS-based information for the state of California.

Bureau of Justice Statistics

U.S. Department of Justice
Extensive repository of federal level data reports and related documentation, tables, and searchable databases. A vast range of topics are addressed including corrections, courts, crime type, law enforcement, and victims. Much of this data is reported at the national level, but may be broken down my relevant categories such as regional characteristics (e.g., city size) or demographics.

California Demographics

California Department of Finance
Downloadable data files including population estimates and projections at the state, county, and city level. Estimates and projections by age, sex, and race/ethnicity are available. Other data available include education projections, components of change (birth, death, migration), and household characteristics.

Jail Profile Survey

Board of State and Community Corrections
Online query system which provide data related to prison populations as reported by local agencies. Data include average daily population of sentenced and unsentenced inmates, medical (including mental and dental) occurrences, and contract housing.

Juvenile Detention Profile Survey

Board of State and Community Corrections
Online query system which provide data related to juvenile detention populations are reported by local agencies. Data include average daily population, detention locations, mental health occurrences, and bookings.

Office of Research

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Collection of statewide reports related to prison population demographics, admissions, release and parole, youth population, and outcomes (recidivism).


California Department of Justice
Extensive repository of data collected by the California Department of Justice at the state and county level. This includes summary statistics and downloadable data files. Available data include to crime, law enforcement personnel, arrests, and probation.

Public Health Meets Public Safety

Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health

A research-based framework developed to improve data-driven policymaking to reduce the number of adults and young people with behavioral health needs in California’s justice system. The project leverages data from multiple state and local sources to understand how policy changes (e.g., health care or housing) impact incarceration rates. Explore the data visualization or the inventory of existing state and local data.

Statistical Briefing Book

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Searchable database which includes national, state, and county data on characteristics of youth residential placement facilities, juvenile populations, and juvenile court statistics. State and county level comparisons can be made.