Effective programs (that meet programmatic goals) and efficient programs (which require reasonable effort) have a significant role in encouraging pro-environmental
behavior and decreasing non-point source pollution. A missing component of many outreach programs and interventions is evaluating effectiveness and efficiency. This
evaluation assessed outreach interventions associated with the Watershed Health Integrated Research project in the Lower Kaskaskia River Watershed in southwestern
Illinois, USA. Outreach interventions included a community research team, a website, citizen and leader-focused workshops, and summary reports. Through developing the
Model for Integrated Watershed Management Assessment, this evaluation examined the degree to which interventions fulfilled project objectives and the amount of effort
required. Objectives-oriented evaluative criteria included taking a participatory approach, tailoring and appraising programs, and informing and empowering communities. Effort-oriented
criteria included personnel numbers, hours, and costs. Data sources included correspondence with the project team, pre/post tests, and evaluative surveys. Results
suggest that the citizen workshop was the most effective intervention in that it fulfilled all the project objectives, yet it was the least efficient because it required a high level of
effort. None of the interventions were clearly more efficient. The community research team, summary reports, and the leader workshop fulfilled some objectives and required
moderate effort, while the website fulfilled few goals and required a moderate effort. These findings can help practitioners with limited time and financial resources
strategically choose outreach efforts based on efficiency and effort required. Additionally this evaluation further develops the limited field of watershed outreach evaluation.
Evaluating Watershed Outreach Interventions in the Lower Kaskaskia River Watershed.
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