Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Program Evaluation


We need YOU... to join an exciting national study!

Due to the outstanding reputation of WA state DV programs, our state has been chosen for a study on what survivors say about community-based advocacy (all non-shelter services). When we participated in a similar study in 2008, the results were very encouraging, and showed that shelter services are highly effective.

If you volunteer, you will be asked to:

  • Give a survey to all of your participants whom you’ve seen at least twice, except those in shelter and those in crisis.
  • Administer these surveys every other week between March 1 and August 31.
  • Have your director complete a survey about your services.

 If you are a WA state DV program, please volunteer to participate today.


The Bare Minimum

All programs that serve survivors benefit from having some method of evaluating their services, to make sure they are truly useful to survivors. If you receive DSHS funding, you are required to collect and report information about your services. Here's what you need to know:

Sympathy for Busy Advocates

Advocates are monumentally busy. Dealing with outside pressure demanding that you "prove the worth" of what you are doing can seem overwhelming. Take heart! This short paper, written by an ally, will tell you how to make program evaluation work for you.

Use Survivor-Tested and Approved Forms

Avoid re-inventing the wheel. Careful work and testing went into creating the best questions in the best format to use with survivors. Why mess with success?

  • Counseling (English) (Spanish) Note: this form does not evaluate advocacy based counseling, but rather more traditional forms of counseling. Though most community based programs do not provide this type of counseling, for those that do, these forms are useful.

Compile Your Own Data

You can download ready-made databases that are set up to help you compile information off the forms listed above. Databases that come with instructions are available for both Access and Excel. NOTE: use the word outcomes for a user name and password.

The Gold Standard for Program Evaluation

If you want to explore more in-depth ideas about program evaluation, then there are great resources to help. Some years ago, the best thinkers, activists and researchers in the domestic violence movement came together to think critically about program evaluation. Here is the manual they created: FVPSA Outcomes Manual

Help Bring Your Data to Light and Life

The final chapter, Making Your Findings Work For You, in the FVPSA Outcomes Manual is a must-read for anyone anxious to make sure that all the effort you put into evaluation is not wasted. Amplify the voices of survivors by bringing your hard earned data to life. It is one of the truly gratifying parts of our work to inspire the people in our neighborhoods and communities to understand and to act.

Examples of how data tells a compelling story: