Integrated Research and Evaluation

YK Local evaluation framework

Through multiple interconnected strategies, YK is implementing evidence based or evidence informed practices, and best practices in the range of disciplines that underpin YK programs

There are four overarching themes:

  1. Capacity building ( focused on practitioner skills and capacity, embedding new competencies into practice),
  2. Quality improvement (environmental changes and overall quality of service),
  3. Integration (systems change and collaboration among practitioners)
  4. Direct service delivery


There is a significant evidence base for both the programs and approaches YK have adopted. However the evidence base for the implementation of these programs, specifically in the socio-economic and organizational context of the community will be addressed through the evaluation and is therefore a mixed method qualitative and quantitative combing process with outcomes. The YK evaluation is primarily a process evaluation which will also capture some proximal outputs and outcomes of YK’s four strands. It will examine the approach and content of key programs within each of the 4 strands:

Strand 1: Home Visiting Program and IMH Networks

Strand 2: Babbling Babies and Hanen Training Programs at Early Years Centres and Primary Schools

Strand 3: Highscope Training program, Mentoring Program and Environmental Enhancement at Early years centres

Strand 4: IY Classroom Management program and IY Parenting program


In the context of the overall YK Programme Evaluation a Child focused profile of the geographical area is being conducted to inform the programme as it develops. Key baseline data collected as part of the programme and well as wider data about children and families in Young Knocknaheeny’s catchment areas was collated and descriptively analysed. A report presenting an overall profile will be available through 2017.


A YK program-wide database has been developed to serve an administration function, allowing staff to track and record families’ and practitioners’ participation with YK. The database also serves an evaluation function and will be used understand the reach of the YK programme and to establish sampling frames for some components of the local YK Evaluation.


A final YK Programme Evaluation Report,  drawing together the child focused profile, the administrative data and evaluation of the 4 strategies, will be completed at the end of 17


Research and Evaluation Group

An advisory group chaired by Dr. Margaret Curtin at the UCC Dept. of Nursing and Midwifery provides ongoing input, advice and support for the planning and implementation of the YK local evaluation and participation in the National evaluation. Meetings are held between wider YK stakeholders meet on as-needed basis.


National Evaluation

CES national evaluation will examine the outcomes, implementation and cost of the ABC Programme at a national level. A key objective of the evaluation of the ABC Programme is to build capacity and embed a culture of using data to inform decision-making within ABC areas. (

Young Knocknaheeny undertakes data collection and data-entry on behalf of and for the national evaluation this includes outcomes measurements: Santa Barbara School Readiness Scale (SBSRS); PIANTA Questionnaire; Strengths and Difficulties (SDQ) Questionnaire

Other data collected is demographic information; 0-3 sub-study outcome and implementation measures; Programme implementation measures including practitioner and consortium surverys, interviews and focus groups.