Grant-supported programs, particularly those sponsored with government funds, are required to include a rigorous evaluation as part of the proposal and project implementation to demonstrate program effectiveness. Ironically, programs that serve high-risk populations are often at an inherent disadvantage with regard to conducting rigorous program evaluations since this unique population does not lend itself to accepted program evaluation standards and practices. Consequently, these programs often do not receive the funding needed to provide useful programs for high-risk populations. The New York City-based RESOLVE abstinence education program will be used as a running example to discuss challenges and recommendations that are commonly encountered when evaluating programs that target high-risk youth. Examining the challenges that high-risk populations present to evaluators can lead to the development of new evaluation protocols that are more appropriate to this group of individuals.
Levine, Gavrielle and Swerdzewski, Peter, "Evaluating Programs Serving High-Risk Populations: Challenges and Recommendations" (2010). NERA Conference Proceedings 2010. Paper 23.