The Public Safety Grant Administration Office (PSGAO) believes that evaluations and/or needs assessments are important tools to improve program and project quality. Evaluations can help determine the effectiveness of programs, document that objectives have been met; provide information about service delivery; enable programs to make necessary changes to improve effectiveness and to identify model programs to be showcased, publicized and offered for replication. Needs assessments provide decision-makers valuable insights into the gaps that exist in the existing level of service delivery and with objective information in order to facilitate sound funding decisions.
Normally, programs considered for evaluation have a several-year funding history and are recommended by PSGAO staff, with input from various advisory committees or subgrantee agencies. Evaluation contractors are hired through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Programs being evaluated are consulted through every step of the process, whether it be drafting the initial RFP or proofing the final report. An agency may benefit from an independent evaluation of their project in that it may help them to leverage funding from other sources.