Evaluation of sexuality and violence prevention programs is a crucial aspect of ensuring the programs are useful to the participants and that the stated objectives of the program are met. It is also an important aspect of accountability to funding bodies and organisations that host programs. The development of rigorous evaluation of sexuality and violence prevention programs is in its infancy in Australia and New Zealand. However, both the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation in Australia and the Center for Disease Control in the USA provide important guidelines on the importance of rigorous evaluation of programs.
The Sex & Ethics Program has actively engaged in several types of evaluation since its inception. Throughout the six weeks of the Program, participants are provided with multiple opportunities to discuss their responses to activities and the impact it has on them personally. In addition to this process evaluation the Sex & Ethics Program collects anonymous written feedback from educators who deliver the Program with young people. However the most important aspect of our evaluation method is to collect surveys from participants in the Program at three time periods – at the first session of the Program and again at week 6 of the program. This allows us to assess the knowledge and attitudes before the Program begins and to compare this with the same surveys completed in the final session. However, we go further than this and follow up all participants 6 months after they have completed the Sex & Ethics Program. This is an important aspect of our commitment to high quality sexuality and violence prevention programs. We want to know if the Program is meeting the needs of men and women who participate and what ongoing impact if any it is having on their lives.
Since 2006 we have been collecting data from all participants in the Sex & Ethics Program that has received government funding. This has included data collected from diverse populations including men and women from youth services in city and regional locations, university residential colleges, specialist services for lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and queer young people (LGBTQ); trainee elite footballers and from a very culturally diverse population including Aboriginal, Maori, Pacific Islander and Asian young people.
Go to the Publications page for the most recent program’s impact and results.