Samples of CARE’s Success
The Center for Applied Research and Evaluation provides services at a variety of levels.
Suppose you have determined that you need to develop a survey. What methodology should you use to develop questions? The staff at CARE and SWORPS have many years of experience in developing the phrasing and form of survey items and instruments. Our professionals can advise you whether to use phone interviews, paper surveys for mailing, online surveys, or even to take a different approach such as focus groups or personal interviews.
Perhaps you have already developed a phone survey, but you don’t have the personnel to complete the data collection. CARE has a 22-station phone bank and trained callers who are able to professionally complete phone surveys for clients in prescribed time frameworks.
After the data is collected, many researchers need the advice of skilled statisticians in order to apply the appropriate analytics to utilize the data effectively. If you are in the situation, rely on the expertise of CARE and the statisticians of SWORPS to help you analyze and evaluate the data that you have collected.
Additionally, content experts are available to assist with report writing and documentation.
Perhaps, after all of the intensive preparation, collection, analysis, and reporting is complete, you need assistance with the final presentation. Depend on the professionals at CARE and SWORPS to assist with editing, formatting, and preparations for print or online distribution.
The Center for Applied Research and Evaluation (CARE) has successfully completed research projects that have varied widely in scope, methodology, and complexity. CARE has been especially successful with recruiting and interviewing hard to reach populations. The following is a small sample of the projects that have been conducted.
Tennessee Family Assistance Longitudinal Survey (FALS):
Tennessee’s Department of Human Services (TDHS) is interested in learning how Families First participants are utilizing the services that are offered through this assistance program and in their ability to reach self-sufficiency. A complex telephone survey instrument has been designed for the Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) system to allow interviews to be tailored to participants’ circumstances. This research project has been conducted every six to nine months by CARE since October, 2002. The information gathered has been instrumental to TDHS for decision-making as it considers new services and program design. CARE is currently conducting the 13th round of this important longitudinal study and has achieved a 70% response rate in the previous ten rounds of data collection.
Governor’s Highway Safety Office Media Campaign Eval:
The Center for Transportation Research at the University of Tennessee is responsible for evaluating the traffic safety media campaigns that are conducted in Tennessee. This program is administered by the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office and funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A telephone survey instrument has been developed for the statewide data collection and has been designed so that modules can be inserted and removed to coincide with campaign schedules and other changes that may occur throughout the year, which provides flexibility to the evaluators and fulfills the needs of the grant. CARE is currently collecting 6,000 telephone interviews for the current grant year and on-line survey components will be added to allow for more in-depth information to be collected from target populations. This survey has been ongoing since 2004.
Effectiveness of Anti-Drug Public Service Announcements (PSA):
This study was completed under contract with the University of Kentucky Research Foundation from funding provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This research project entailed recruiting and interviewing 100 Knox County middle school and high school students each month for a four year period. The interviewing was completed using the Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) system to expose students to anti-drug public service ads (PSA) and to measure their reaction to the PSAs.
Improvements in State Health Outcomes—State Public Health Systems Performance and State Health Department Responses to America’s Health Rankings:
The Center for Public Health at the University of Tennessee received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to examine how the characteristics, inputs, and activities of state health offices and state public health systems are associated with changes in state-level health outcomes. Researchers were interested in exploring why some states have made significant improvements in key health outcomes as reported in America’s Health Rankings, and others have not. As part of this research, CARE conducted an on-line survey of State Public Health Officers to provide feedback on the usefulness of America’s Health Rankings. To provide a thorough assessment of state-level changes in health outcomes, results from the survey will be integrated with findings from quantitative analysis of key health indicator data and from qualitative analysis of interviews conducted with state health officials in selected states.