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2000 Youth Suicide Prevention Plan Progress
The Oregon Plan for Youth Suicide Prevention
Section 3: MEASURING PROGRESS
Heightened community awareness about suicide can lead to a sense of urgency and a will to act. Tragic stories can win votes, can help get money appropriated to the cause, and can inspire volunteers to pour their heart and soul into prevention activities.But all that vigorous and heartfelt activity will be wasted unless it is harnessed to a program that works. Plans for program evaluation should be part of any plan for the implementation of a suicide prevention program. The evaluation can help provide proof that the program is successful, and this is often important when looking to obtain financial or political support for the program. In addition, detecting the unintended effects of a program can lead to efforts to refine that program. Finally, documentation of how a program was implemented can also be useful to others if they choose to replicate a successful program.

In designing an evaluation plan it is often useful to explicitly and concretely specify the activities involved in the program,and the short- and long-term goals of the program. Once the activities and goals have been specified, t least two kinds of evaluation should be considered:

  • Process evaluation: measuring the extent to which activities are implemented as planned
  • Outcome evaluation: measuring the effectiveness of the program in achieving the program?s stated outcomes
The appendices to this plan contain information and tools that may be useful as you plan prevention activities and evaluation of those activities.