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Ethical Issues of Conducting a Program Evaluation

Strategies that are aimed at protecting the rights and dignity of the participants of evaluation need to be integrated into the way that a project is designed and carried out. It is important to put into consideration the safeguards that are likely to be needed when the participants are children or any other vulnerable persons, some victims of the crimes included. Various professional organizations provided the needed guidelines, for instance, the American Psychological Association (Hanley, Hurley & Sperber 2005).

Promotion of the interest of others through helping individuals and various organizations or a society as a whole is an important step in conducting a program evaluation. It creates a sense of confidence among the participants and therefore this is likely to bring about positive results. It is also important to bring no harm such as physical injury or psychological harm which involves damaging of the reputation, emotional well being and the self esteem of other people.

This is a step forward in ensuring that there is a conducive environment for carrying out the program activities. The other crucial point to put into consideration involves treating people fairly during the process of program evaluation. Discrimination on the basis of race, socioeconomic status, gender together with other characteristics should be completely shunned away. The individual’s right to act freely has to be respected. People need to make their own choices.

Protecting the rights of those who may not be in position to fully protect themselves is equally important (Tewksbury, DeMichele & Miller, 2002). Consideration of risks and benefits Quite a number of benefits result from evaluation in most cases. In some instances, there are likely to be direct benefits to the participating parties like receiving of a gift certificate or just any other incentive in exchange of being interviewed. Several other benefits come about as a result of the various changes that are made at the program or the level of urgency.

Evaluation may guide the strategies for the improvement of the impact of the program, therefore leading to a highly positive level of outcome for both the current and future participants. On the other hand, risks may also be involved. The need for a careful consideration of any form of harm that is likely to result from evaluation is always paramount. Taking of the required steps to reduce cases of risks are therefore necessary. With the evaluation of the victims of crime services, the likely risks include;

• Disruption of the life of the participant, for instance sacrificing the time and energy to be able to participate • Emotional consequences that may involve answering of hard and painful questions concerning their victimization or the events that had a lot traumatic events • Safety concerns like allowing the abuser to be in position to learn about their involvement in various services, therefore exposing them to probable future victimization When designing and evaluation program, the need to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks is necessary.

There are possibilities of not eliminating the risks but reducing them to the accepted level can be within the reach. The following suggestions are necessary; • Keeping of the evaluation procedures as brief and convenient as much as possible is necessary so that there is the minimization of the disruptions in the lives of the subjects. • Provision of incentives like food, money or the gift certificates is also quite important. • To be able to improve the services, it is necessary not to ask emotionally troubling questions.

This can only be done when there is a necessity is doing so Time and money which are spent on evaluation can be maximized when the results are indicating a positive value. The two factors should therefore not be misused on unnecessary activities during the evaluation process. To achieve this, it is important to target the evaluation to key questions and carefully review the various findings. Using of the results is also necessary in achieving this fit as it helps in keeping on the required track.

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