This article describes the methodology and presents the findings and recommendations from an evaluation of the Office of Violence Against Women's (OVW's) Rural Pilot Program (RPP), which addressed the extent to which organizational capacity was improved by the funding model used.
The variety of factors involved in organizational capacity can be divided into two categories: functional capacity and the capacity to provide services. These areas can be further divided into six components: management and operations, board of directors and governance, key allies, resources, program planning and implementation, and evaluation. A key concern underlying interest in organizational capacity for public administrators is determining how to ensure the sustainability of programs and organizations after government funding ceases. This RPP evaluation found that modest positive changes occurred in two areas: organizational staffing and information technology; however, no changes occurred in other areas of organizational capacity. The changes that were made as a result of the RPP, at least in the short term, were attributable to the infusion of monies and not to any other types of support for the sub-awardees by the intermediaries. Although the RPP grants were relatively small, the time frame allowed for spending the monies was 6-12 months, depending on the intermediary organization. The evaluation concluded that the difficult tasks of improving organizational capacity and sustainability are not likely to be achieved in such a short time. The evaluation recommends that funding agencies commit to longer periods of funding if they expect funded programs to show improvement in outputs and outcomes. Regarding the evaluation methodology, the article explains how capacity was measured and discusses the validation and utility of a self-administered instrument. 3 tables, 21 references, and a listing of the evaluation's self-assessment questions