Tracking and Evaluation
What We Do
Tracking and Evaluation is a resource for all of the Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network’s KCAs with a specific focus on the design, implementation and assessment of performance measures that assess how well we are achieving our shared goals of improving clinical and translational research and providing innovative research partnerships within our institutions and our communities, Pilot Grantsand Scholar Award for cutting-edge collaborative research, sustainable and robust resources for conducting successful clinical and translational research, collaborative outreach to underserved populations, and excellent educational and faculty development opportunities.
Specifically, we are charged with tracking the Logic Model (see below) Inputs and Activities in order to provide quality improvements for these programs and services. Evaluation is also accountable for tracking Logic Model Intermediate Outcomes in order to ensure that the Network is building research capacity across the consortium of partners through
- increased multidisciplinary collaborations
- externally funded grants
- dissemination products
- vibrant scholar development, and
- innovative, accessible clinical translational resources.
Our team is also committed to measuring ways in which the Network enhances community partnerships to ensure research projects address community-identified priorities and build the community’s capacity for active participation in research projects. We also rely on impact metrics to assess the long-term social and economic contributions identified in our Logic Model for improved population health and return on investment.
Methods, Tools, and Approaches
The evaluation team adheres to American Evaluation Association (AEA) professional standards. Our Great Plains IDeA-CTR Logic Model will guide evaluation to ensure that findings have utility, feasibility, propriety, and accuracy. We also adhere to the five core principles of evaluation taken from the AEA: systematic inquiry, competence, integrity/honesty, respect for people, and responsibility for general and public welfare. Consistent with current literature on complex science consortia, the evaluation team provides mixed methods and innovative approaches that include:
We assist the Administrative Core in making ongoing operational adjustments toward achieving their governance objectives.
We provide outcome evaluation processes and tools to measure overall Network and individual core productivity.
Social Network Analysis
We utilize social network analysis to map collaborations among researchers associated with the Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network.
We conduct economic analysis to estimate the social return on investment (SROI) of our Network’s outcomes at UNMC and throughout the region.
Epidemiological Tracking of Population Metrics
We track population metrics with the BERD and CEO KCAs to understand the Network’s contributions to improve health behaviors, outcomes, and quality of life.
Establishment and Maintenance of Best Practices
We regularly review the literature and communicate with other IDeA-CTR evaluators in order to establish and maintain best practices in evaluation.
Disseminate Evaluation Research
We publish and present results of our work in order to broaden knowledge among the larger academic research community so that they may learn from our experiences.