Issues in evaluation of complex social change programs for sexual assault prevention

Issues in evaluation of complex social change programs for sexual assault prevention

Liz Wall

ACSSA Issues No. 14 — May 2013
Issues in evaluation of complex social change programs for sexual assault prevention

Preventing sexual violence before it occurs is known as primary prevention. Such prevention programs that aim for social change, as in sexual assault prevention, can challenge more traditional perceptions of program success and require consideration as to how success or failure is measured. Broader thinking is required to provide creative, solution-focused evaluation that can be incorporated into program design to enhance sexual assault prevention efforts.

Key messages

The most valid, rigorous and reliable information for any evaluation is that which informs the stakeholders about what they need to know for prevention effectiveness.

The complexity of multi-level interventions for sexual assault primary prevention may require consideration of new techniques for evaluating.

Acceptance of innovative methods of evaluation is required at the policy and funding level to ensure progress towards effective assessment of primary prevention in sexual assault.

Evaluators should utilise an approach that best suits the evaluation question they are considering even if that requires innovative techniques.

Authors and Acknowledgements

Liz Wall is a Research Officer with the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault.


Thanks to Robyn Parker, Anastasia Powell, Pauline Kenny and Kelly Hand for contributing their expertise for the purposes of feedback, guidance and review of earlier drafts of this publication.

Publication details

ACSSA Issues
No. 14
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, May 2013.
20 pp.
ISSN: 
1833-7864
ISBN: 
978-1-922038-26-5
Suggested citation:

Wall, L. (2013). Issues in evaluation of complex social change programs for sexual assault prevention (ACSSA Issues No. 14). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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