Questions To Ask and Answer:
- Are we evaluating our work?
- Did we follow the plan?
- What did we change?
- Did we reach our goal?
Plan regular evaluations to measure and track your progress over time.
Consider partnering with a local university or State center for health statistics to help with data tracking. Some things to think about when you are evaluating data over time:
- Data Quality: Be sure to check for standardization of data collection, analysis, and structure of questions.
- Limitations of Self-Reported Data: When you are relying on self-reported data (such as exercise frequency or income), be aware of self-reporting bias.
- Data Validity and Reliability: Watch out for revisions of survey questions and/or the development of new data collection systems. This could affect the validity of your responses over time. (Enlist a statistician to help with validity and reliability testing.)
- Data Availability: Data collection efforts are not always performed on a regular basis.
Do not forget to share your progress—and successes—with your community.
If you see a positive trend in data, issue a press release or announcement.
Field Notes: New Jersey
Go to the Healthy People 2020 Planning Resources Page.