Anthropology 318. Evaluating Community Service Programs


Spring semester, 2004


Wednesday. 2:00-4:30                                                                                        FE Johnston

Civic House                                                                                             Office: 432 Museum

                                                                                                           Phone: 215 898-6834

Office hours: Wednesday 10:00-12:00 by appt                           Email:



Textbook: Patton MQ, Utilization-Focused Evaluation, 3rd Edition. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage, 1997



Introduction; This course deals with the evaluation of community-based programs and especially those that are organized around academically-based community service (ABCS). The rationale for this course is that, while there are opportunities to take courses dealing with community concerns, their analysis and the development of strategies to alleviate them, there are very few undergraduate courses that focus on how to evaluate the effectiveness of the programs. Some of the issues to be covered include:

  • How to design and implement an evaluation that is useful to the stakeholders.
  • How to integrate outcome-based and process-based evaluations.
  • How to apply the results of evaluations to other settings and problems
  • How to deal with the often-unintended consequences of an evaluation


Course structure; This is an ABCS course, which means that it will be based on a real community concern and will take students into the community as the major activity of the course. The course is also problem-based, meaning that the learning comes from engagement with a real-world problem, not just to study and analyze it but also to solve it. The problem with which we will deal is to design the evaluation of the Sayre School Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program, a major commitment of Penn over the next 5 years, at least. The Sayre project began in the fall of 2003 and aims to improve the health and nutritional status of the community in which the Sayre School is located. It links the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, and Social Work. The project also aims to enhance education in the undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools of the university. For these reasons, it is widely viewed as virtually unique.



  • Do the readings, attend class, and participate in discussions
  • Participate in the development and write-up of the evaluation framework






Class Schedule




Resource material


Introduction - general discussion

Sayre HPDP Selective Program Summary

Penn/Sayre partnership (Blackboard)


Evaluation: what and why

Chapters 1&2 &


Kellogg Evaluation Handbook


The Sayre Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program and ABCS

Chapter 3,4 & Harkavy:ABCS


Focusing the evaluation

Chapters 6,7,8


The paradigms debate

Chapter 11, 12



Quantitative methods

To be announced


Open and structured interviews

To be announced



Focus groups

To be announced



Spring break




Putting it all together - 1

Chapter 9, 10



Putting it all together - 2

Chapter 13



The consequences of evaluation

Chapter 14



Final preparation




Final preparation