Posted: December 6, 2018

If you missed one of the webinars organized this year by the National Community and Economic Resource Development (CRD) Indicators Team team, fear not -- recordings are available online for viewing anytime. The team collaborates to share compelling stories about the collective impacts of community and economic development work, at local, state, regional and national levels.

This year, their webinar series (hosted by the Southern Rural Development Center) included the following presentations:

What's Your Program Worth? Evaluation Strategies for Documenting the Dollar Value of Extension Programs

Extension stakeholders, most notably county commissioners, often need to justify their decisions to continue funding Extension and need more than evaluation data on program outcomes. They want to know the economic benefits of their Extension funding in their communities. This webinar provides two case studies of evaluation efforts to document the return on investment of Extension programming. Rebecca Sero will describe efforts to document the economic impact of all Extension programming in two counties in Washington state. Brigid Tuck, Catie Rasmussen and Scott Chazdon will present their study of return on investment for a leadership program in McLeod County, Minnesota. Both of these efforts combined quantitative and qualitative methods to collect data on the dollar value of Extension programming. The session is moderated by Sreedhar Upendram, an Assistant Professor in Agricultural Economics at University of Tennessee Extension with expertise in Economic Impact Analysis.

Evaluating Community Development Impacts Using Qualitative Indicators

Measuring the impact of work community development professionals engage in is critical to ensure its continuation. While many focus on quantitative measures, this webinar will provide successful examples of using qualitative methods to evaluate this work. A pilot evaluation study that used newly developed qualitative indicators will be shared. Additionally, two specific case examples will be provided; one of a community foundation education program evaluation and one of a community health assessment on the Crow Indian Reservation. Discussion will focus on challenges and opportunities in working with organizations outside of Extension, as well as the context for applying qualitative approaches and communicating outcomes across settings. Presenters: Rebecca Sero, Paul Lachapelle

Understanding and Evaluating Collective Impact Initiatives

The Collective Impact Model has the potential for bringing organizations and partners together to address a common set of goals. This webinar will provide an overview of the model -- the contexts in which it may be useful, the strategies for making it successful, and current criticisms of its use. Evaluation strategies for assessing both the formative and summative aspects of collective impact models will also be discussed. Presenters: Walt Whitmer, Scott Chazdon, Deb Tootle, and Allison Nichols