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Evaluation of Integrated Nutrition Supports Project

The University of Michigan School of Social Work Program Evaluation Group (PEG) has over nine years of experience conducting evaluation in Michigan and nationally. PEG has worked with more than 100 clients across the domains of public health, health and aging, community development, human services, and youth development sectors on projects ranging from less than $10,00 to over $100,000. Our partnerships have resulted in improved program designs, greater access to services, integration of best practices, improved participant outcomes, community change, and increased evaluation capacity. As social work evaluators, we believe that evaluation should be equitable in both process and purpose. We are committed to evaluation approaches that further social justice work and meaningfully engage diverse stakeholders. The PEG evaluation team has demonstrated their commitment to equitable evaluation practices by participating in the Equitable Evaluation Initiative Collaboratory, by joining the Southeast Michigan Equitable Evaluation Workgroup, by establishing staff discussion and reflection spaces, and by implementing equity evaluation approaches in dozens of community-based projects throughout the U.S. We strive to design and execute evaluations that include intended beneficiaries, that are culturally valid, and apply a systems lens. We employ a utilization-focused approach to evaluation, providing high-quality, professional evaluation services through a social work lens. We engage our clients throughout the evaluation process to ensure that 1) evaluation design and implementation is driven by their needs; 2) evaluation capacity is built within their organization’s processes and structure; and 3) evaluation findings are meaningful and actionable. For the Integrated Nutrition Supports project, we would partner with CIS staff to design and execute an evaluation that pairs in-depth perspectives and experiences of students and families with the survey and assessment data collected by CIS. By conducting focus groups with students and interviews with parents, our approach would bring personal stories to the evaluation and add nuance and context to the quantitative findings. Depending on the design of the data collection, we could also make initial comparisons of experiences across programs, settings, and fruit and vegetable consumption levels. With any of the selected designs, we would work with CIS staff and stakeholders to refine the qualitative data collection design and to ensure the design integrates with and complements the other evaluation components. We would not, however, be actively involved with the survey and assessments data collection methods.

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