The methodology and findings are presented from a process and outcome evaluation of the grant-related activities of five crime laboratories funded under the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) 2009 Forensic DNA Unit Efficiency Improvement Program (EIP), which supports the development and adoption of improved laboratory processes for DNA analysis.
The evaluation determined that the five EIPs evaluated cannot be compared to each other in totality, because each is distinctly different. Given the composition of EIPs and the lack of post-implementation outcomes for most laboratories, the evaluation team could not determine whether a specific type of EIP has the potential for success at the time of this evaluation report. This is because there has not been sufficient time since the implementation of the one laboratory that has completed its EIP. Given these circumstances, it would be more appropriate to conduct a series of case studies for each laboratory; however, if EIPs are similar and a large number of grants are awarded, then a multi-site evaluation that includes comparison site should be conducted. This report presents a list of labosratory guidelines and recommendations for making laboratory EIPs more successful. They include optimization of communication, management and laboratory personnel acceptance and promotion, a full understanding of the proper scope and timeline at the outset of EIP, and planning of an EIP evaluation. Evaluation methods involved site visits, Web meetings, laboratory performance metric tables staff interviews, monthly conference meetings via phone, and other correspondence with key laboratory personnel about project objectives and progress. 22 figures, 38 tables, and 30 references
Report (Grant Sponsored)
Date Published: February 1, 2012