Data Analysis and Interpretation

The purpose of the data analysis and interpretation phase is to transform the data collected into credible evidence about the development of the intervention and its performance.

Analysis can help answer some key questions:

    · Has the program made a difference?
    · How big is this difference or change in knowledge, attitudes, or behavior?

This process usually includes the following steps:

    · Organizing the data for analysis (data preparation)
    · Describing the data
    · Interpreting the data (assessing the findings against the adopted evaluation criteria)

Where quantitative data have been collected, statistical analysis can:

    · help measure the degree of change that has taken place
    · allow an assessment to be made about the consistency of data

Where qualitative data have been collected, interpretation is more difficult.

    · Here, it is important to group similar responses into categories and identify common patterns that can help derive meaning from what may seem unrelated and diffuse responses.
    · This is particularly important when trying to assess the outcomes of focus groups and interviews.

It may be helpful to use several of the following 5 evaluation criteria as the basis for organizing and analyzing data:

Relevance: Does the intervention address an existing need? (Were the outcomes achieved aligned to current priorities in prevention? Is the outcome the best one for the target group—e.g., did the program take place in the area or the kind of setting where exposure is the greatest?)
Effectiveness: Did the intervention achieve what it was set out to achieve?
Efficiency: Did the intervention achieve maximum results with given resources?
Results/Impact: Have there been any changes in the target group as a result of the intervention?
Sustainability: Will the outcomes continue after the intervention has ceased?

Particularly in outcomes-based and impact-based evaluations, the focus on impact and sustainability can be further refined by aligning data around the intervention’s.

Extent: How many of the key stakeholders identified were eventually covered, and to what degree have they absorbed the outcome of the program? Were the optimal groups/people involved in the program?
Duration: Was the project’s timing appropriate? Did it last long enough? Was the repetition of the project’s components (if done) useful? Were the outcomes sustainable?