Building Performance Measurement Capacity in Tribal Communities

Tribal Home Visiting Program grantees and communities are building a key evaluation capacity: performance measurement. Here are some of the benefits grantees have reported as a result of the performance measurement planning process.

ICON-dialog-2b“We learned to anticipate data needs and hypothesize about program impacts. The benchmark process required us to get concrete about program processes and outcomes.”

— Tribal home visiting grantee

Advancing Community Engagement Around Data

Performance measurement planning provides an opportunity for grantees to engage tribal communities and partners in discussions about data, often for the first time. Together, they consider what kind of data would best serve the community, how to use existing data, and how to coordinate data collection and share data across programs. These community-wide discussions helped grantees examine and strengthen their home visiting program’s relationship with other programs within the community’s early childhood system.

Tailoring Performance Measures to Community Needs and Strengths

Many grantees say the process of tailoring performance measures to fit their communities supports tribal sovereignty and self-determination. For example, in a community with an established goal of increasing the number of mothers who breastfeed, the grantee might choose to measure the percentage of mothers who initiate breastfeeding. Collecting data on activities and outcomes that are important to a tribal community results in information that is useful for tribal decision making.

Examining and Improving Programs

When grantees plan performance measurement, they examine processes across their entire program, including intake, screening and referral, and delivery of home visits. For example, the need to track screenings and timely referrals for performance measurement can lead to the development of coordinated screening and referral processes across multiple programs, with the goal of creating a more seamless experience for families. Collecting data on screenings and referrals over time can help programs see whether families are receiving these services as planned.

Building Capacity

TEI provides targeted technical assistance and tools to help grantees develop their performance measurement plans. Grantees that build their capacity to collect and use data are able to measure and improve performance despite disruptions in staffing or funding. These skills are transferrable to other programs and initiatives.