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Phased Evaluation of VictimConnect: An OVC-Funded, Technology-Based National Resource Center

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $600,000)

The Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center (Urban), in collaboration with NCVC, proposes a rigorous multiphase evaluation of the technology-based VictimConnect Resource Center beginning with a formative evaluation. VictimConnect uniquely serves all types of crime victims and is in an emerging developmental stage at which integration of evaluation capacity is optimal. The formative evaluation’s purpose is to develop a clear and comprehensive implementation framework for VictimConnect and integrated research capacity to support a future outcome evaluation of the effectiveness of online chats, texts, and web directory searches—relative to each other and to more softphone helpline services—at improving access to crime victims, delivery and efficiency of technological services, ensuring protections to victims and families, and understanding users of technology-based referral information. There are six core research objectives: 1) review and refine the VictimConnect logic model; 2) conduct a comprehensive evaluability assessment, culminating in a rigorous process and outcome evaluation plan that compares outcomes across modalities (chat, text, web search, softphone); 3) build VictimConnect’s research capacity, including integrating data collection mechanisms (e.g., confidential victim surveys, staff feedback surveys, observations of chat/text conversations, service provider surveys); 4) develop an implementation toolkit that clarifies VictimConnect procedures, implementation fidelity instruments, and performance monitoring guides; 5) pilot test data collection and secure data sharing processes critical to future evaluation phases; and 6) report and disseminate knowledge to victim researchers, service providers, and policymakers nationwide. The project will explicitly consider alternative research designs focused on rigor while ensuring no harm is done to victims; the researchers will assess feasibility of a randomized controlled trial design to assess efficiency of different technological modalities and quasi-experimental propensity matching to assess effectiveness.
"Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: September 5, 2018