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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

National Riparian
Service Team

Evaluations

National Riparian Service Team

An integral component of the Creeks and Communities Strategy is ensuring consistency and effectiveness through activities focusing on program management and accountability.  This includes periodic formal program evaluations as the basis for making needed adaptations.  The first program evaluation was completed in 2001 and covered the first five years of the initiative (1995-1999); the second is scheduled to be completed in 2011 and will cover the eight years following the strategy revision (2003-2010).

Evaluation 1 (The First 5 Years)

During the first five years, the initiative for Accelerating Cooperative Riparian Restoration and Management reached a large number of people (approximately 25,000) over a broad geographic area through training and service trips.  While it was evident that the strategy was successful in terms of bringing people together; there was a need to systematically evaluate effectiveness relative to goals, service areas, resources, expected outcomes and performance standards.  A program evaluation was initiated in 1999 to meet this need. Surveys were sent to individuals who participated in service trips and PFC training sessions and included questions regarding demographics, levels of satisfaction, barriers to success and whether short and long-term outcomes were being achieved.  Interviews, focus groups and workshops with network members (initiative implementers) were designed to gather information regarding a number of themes, including: How does the initiative operate?  What are its advantages and disadvantages?  How are participants, including interviewees, affected?  What are the on-the-ground outcomes?  What are the barriers to success?  The 2002 Creeks and Communities Strategy is a revision to the original strategy that incorporates the findings of the first formal program evaluation.

Evaluation 2

The NRST has contracted with Oregon State University to serve as the principal investigator for the second formal program evaluation, which is currently underway. The study will focus on PFC training, Riparian-Grazing training and Service Trips, since they constitute the primary implementation activities under the Creeks and Communities Strategy. A large scale, quantitative mail-back questionnaire will be administered to a sample of participants from the three activities. This will provide generalizable information relating to the quality and effectiveness of various service delivery methods and strategy implementers, program outcomes ranging from increased participant awareness and understanding to actual on-the-ground changes in socio-ecological conditions, and areas where improvements are needed to achieve the stated strategy goal. Due to their uniqueness and complexity, eight service trips were also selected to be evaluated as in-depth case studies using qualitative face-to-face or telephone interviews with participants. Similar to the surveys, case studies will provide information regarding the quality and effectiveness of various service trips and strategy implementers, program outcomes ranging from increased participant awareness and understanding to actual on-the-ground changes in socio-ecological conditions, and areas where improvements are needed to achieve the stated strategy goal. The results generated from the interviews will complement the survey data by providing a fuller understanding of service trip implementation, while allowing for the capture of unanticipated themes or ideas that may emerge during the research process. Additional information will be made available throughout the process.