In order to evaluate if the ABC Gang Intervention Program is effectively decreasing recidivism, there is need to come up with the right research question. As a result, the research question for evaluating this program would be “Does the ABC Gang Intervention Program reduce recidivism?”
Additionally, there is the need to identify and define the variables for evaluating the effectiveness of the program. According to Vogt (2011), there are two types of variables in research namely the dependent and the independent variable. In this case, the dependent variable is recidivism. Recidivism has categories such as “Yes” and “No” thus it is a nominal dependent variable. “Yes” has a meaning of the number of gang members who will re-offend just two years within their release. However, “No” implies the number of gang members who will not re-offend within the two years of their release.
As opposed to one dependent variable, there will be two independent variables that will be applied for evaluating the program. They include lack of employment and rejection by society members. Similarly, the independent variables are also nominal since they have categories such as “Yes” or “No”. The “Yes” in this case will mean an effect of either society rejection or lack of employment on recidivism. While, “No” implies no effect of either society rejection or lack of employment on recidivism.
The research design that would be appropriate for the program evaluation is the pre-post project and comparison research design. This research design is appropriate because it will accept both pre-testing and post-testing of the sample and then relating the outcome with the overall population. Some of the strengths of the pre-post project and comparison research design include its ability to enable a researcher to perform a comprehensive analysis and also being able to allow the researcher perform a study at a relatively lower cost. Nevertheless, it has weaknesses such as lack of credibility.
Also, it is essential to identify a suitable sampling technique to be used for the program evaluation. Therefore, a purposive sample will be used for evaluating the program. Purposive sampling technique will assist in determining the suitable sample that effectively represents the population of study.
Furthermore, it is also important to identify the methods that will be used for data collection. One of the methods that will be applied for data collection is the questionnaire. Also, interviews will be used to collect data from the sample population. The data will be collected after every six months in a year by the research assistants. Moreover, the data will be collected from the records of criminal local police.
Additionally, it is also essential to develop appropriate timelines for data collection. Appropriate timelines for data collection will ensure that there is adequate and suitable data for evaluating the program. The data collection process is expected to start from January 2017 all the way to the end of 2020. Also, the data will be collected twice every year for the three years of program evaluation process.
It is also important to address issues associated with the reliability and validity of the program evaluation. Some of the issues related to reliability and validity might result from the instruments such as the questionnaires that will be used to gather data. Also, the reliability and validity issue might result from the likelihood that that recidivism rate during the data collection period might not represent the actual state. The former issue will be addressed by using different data collection methods while the latter issue will be addressed by performing subsequent evaluation studies on the program.
Lastly, it is also important to develop a budget of rough estimates for the resources that will be used to evaluate the program. Some of the key resources that will be needed include 40 research assistants and 5 trainers. Also, supplies such as recording devices, computers and printers will be required. Therefore, it is estimated that around $ 2 million will be incurred to conduct the evaluation effectively.
Vogt, W. (2011). SAGE quantitative research methods. London: SAGE.