Interpretive Guide to the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework Released by USDA

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP‐Ed) Evaluation Framework Interpretive Guide was released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on June 6, 2016. For the first time, SNAP-Ed will have a standardized method to report outcome evaluation findings from its programs across all states. The Framework is a set of 51 evaluation indicators that represent positive outcomes associated with SNAP-Ed guiding principles. Each indicator has two or more measureable outcomes that will enable SNAP-Ed to evaluate and report combined program effectiveness outcomes at a state and national level to funders. In order to merge data, standards for outcomes, measures to use, and methods for tracking success, developing SNAP-Ed objectives, and reporting program evaluation have been established. The Interpretive Guide documents this information. The Framework was first developed and piloted in the SNAP-Ed Western Region beginning in 2013. Former and present Center for Wellness and Nutrition staff have been instrumental in the development of the both the Framework and the Interpretive Guide. Sharon Sugerman, Public Health Institute Center for Wellness and Nutrition Director of Research and Evaluation, is both one of the editors and a co-author of the Interpretive Guide. The Interpretive Guide, as well as a collection of stories showing how the Framework has been used to create accountability, measure success, and report results, can be downloaded at https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/national-snap-ed/snap-ed-evaluation-framework-and-interpretive-guide.

SNAP-Ed is designed to increase the likelihood that, given a limited budget, low-income people eat a healthy diet and achieve a physically active lifestyle as recommended by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020. SNAP-Ed is carried out in thousands of different sites across the United States. It is conducted through a combination of educational classes and presentations, social marketing, and policy, systems, and environmental change interventions in the food and physical activity arenas. The Framework is built around the Social-Ecological Model as expressed in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Indicators at the Individual, Environmental Settings, and Sectors of Influence levels lead to indicators of change at the Population level. In FFY17, FNS SNAP-Ed Coordinators identified seven priority indicators for evaluation and reporting. All SNAP-Ed programs will be strongly encouraged to report on four core national priority Framework indicators and at least one additional indicator.

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