A Program Manager's Guide for Program Improvement in Ongoing Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Programs

The RAND Toolkit, Volume 4

by Gery W. Ryan, Carrie M. Farmer, David M. Adamson, Robin M. Weinick

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Between 2001 and 2011, the U.S. Department of Defense has implemented numerous programs to support service members and their families in coping with the stressors from a decade of the longstanding conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. These programs, which address both psychological health and traumatic brain injury (TBI), number in the hundreds and vary in their size, scope, and target population. To ensure that resources are wisely invested and maximize the benefits of such programs, RAND developed a tool to help assess program performance, consider options for improvement, implement solutions, then assess whether the changes worked, with the intention of helping those responsible for managing or implementing programs to conduct assessments of how well the program is performing and to implement solutions for improving performance. Specifically, the tool is intended to provide practical guidance in program improvement and continuous quality improvement for all programs.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Assessing Whether a Program Is Working Well

  • Chapter Three

    Identifying Problems in Programs That Are Not Working Well

  • Chapter Four

    Identifying Potential Solutions, Selecting Among Them, and Determining Whether They Are Working

  • Chapter Five

    Next Steps and Conclusions

  • Appendix A

    Program Worksheet for Assessing Performance

  • Appendix B

    Formal Program Evaluation

This research was sponsored by the the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. It was conducted in the Forces and Resources Policy Center, a RAND National Defense Research Institute (NDRI) program. NDRI is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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