Module 1: Getting Started with IPM Evaluation Planning
Purpose Of This Module
Federal grants related to IPM require the development of an effective plan to evaluate the outcomes and impacts of proposed IPM research and outreach.
The purpose of Module 1 is to:
- Outline a 3-step process for planning an effective IPM evaluation
- Introduce some basic evaluation terminology
- Describe how the “Logic Model” relates to evaluation planning
- Provide references and links to relevant resources that provide more detailed information
More details on specific evaluation methodologies are described in the modules that follow. If you follow the guidelines throughout all the modules you will be able to develop and implement a simple but robust IPM evaluation. For more advanced or complex IPM evaluation objectives we strongly advise you to collaborate with suitably qualified experts such as evaluation specialists or economists on the development of your project at the earliest possible date. Each module will explain what methods require a suitably qualified expert in evaluation or economics.
Measuring IPM Adoption And Impact Is A Goal Of The IPM Road Map
The National Road Map for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) identifies strategic directions for IPM research, implementation, and measurement for all pests, in all settings, throughout the nation.
The goal of the National IPM Program is to improve the economic benefits of adopting IPM practices and to reduce potential risks to human health and the environment caused by the pests themselves or by the use of pest management practices.
The IPM Roadmap summarizes national strategy and priorities and is recognized by IPM stakeholders. The most recent update was Oct. 1, 2013.
This statement of goals outlines three long-term outcomes related to IPM that the federal government (and its grant programs) are interested in measuring.
Changes in condition are long-term outcomes:
- Economic benefits of IPM adoption
- Reductions in potential risks to human health that result from adoption of IPM
- Reductions in potential risks to the environment that result from adoption of IPM
Measuring these long-term outcomes is important in order to demonstrate the value of continued funding for IPM research and outreach on the national stage, but they are not the only things that can or should be measured.
You can also measure some of the “steps along the way” to these broader outcomes. This includes documenting participation in IPM outreach and education programs, and in government programs such as the Natural Resources Conservation Environmental Quality Incentives Program (NRCS EQIP). But participation in a program does not always translate into action on the ground.
It is necessary to measure short-term outcomes of IPM, such as
- Changes in knowledge about IPM
It is also necessary to measure medium-term outcomes of IPM, such as
It’s All About Change
Program evaluation is concerned with measuring change. Changes in what people know or believe, what people do or don’t do, changes in economic results, and changes in environments, communities or the world. For this reason, effective IPM evaluation is dependent upon some form of baseline data that indicates the state of what is to be measured before the IPM program is implemented. While this can be done retrospectively (e.g., “how much did your IPM knowledge increase as a result of today’s workshop?”), it is most often desirable to document change by measuring at two or more points in time. This is sometimes referred to as collection of “pre and post” evaluation data.