Research report: Experiences of the Member States performing evaluations in projects and activities aimed at crime prevention
In general the experience of doing evaluation was seen as positive and necessary by both those participants whose interventions had been evaluated and by those whose interventions had not.
The evaluation of crime prevention interventions involves the systematic collection and analysis of information about the changes that occur in the different components of a criminal problem produced by the activities of the intervention. The principal objective of analyzing such information is to determine at what level the goals were achieved, and at what cost. Different groups benefit from the results of the evaluations, including those who design and implement the intervention, managers, stakeholders, sponsors, policy advisors, target groups, etc. The information produced by the evaluation is useful for guiding decisions about how to redesign the intervention, how to orient the future allocation of resources, and how to advise on policy directions. Whether or not to use the results of the evaluation is ultimately a management decision, but professionals and evaluators are reinforced when they see that the effort they put in to evaluating the interventions is useful to introducing improvements.
A review of the scientific literature supports our recommendations for best evaluation practices:
- the evaluation must rely on the objectives, the Program Theory, and the Logic Model of the intervention
- the evaluation should be planned at the same time that the intervention is designed
- the objectives and the expected outcomes create the evaluation questions and define how the indicators are measured
- the methodology of the research design and analysis employed in the evaluation must be aligned to its objectives
- the intervention must be tested before extended implementation
- evaluations must be ethical and legal
Research commissioned by the EUCPN secretariat
Mid Sweden University, 2020