Getting to Outcomes: Glossary & Abbreviations


Adaptation is the process of changing a program to make it more suitable to a particular population or to an organization’s mission without compromising or deleting the parts of the program that make it effective (often called core components) (Step 2—Goals and Desired Outcomes and Step 4—Fit).
Capacities are the resources (staff, skills, facilities, finances, and others) that an organization needs to implement and sustain a program. Fiscal and resource capacities encompass adequate funding and other basics needed to implement a program as planned (e.g., transportation, food, printed materials, and evaluation resources); technical capacities include the expertise needed to address all aspects of program planning, implementation, and evaluation; access to special materials needed to deliver the program; and the technology appropriate to the implementation of the program, such as computers (Step 5—Capacities).
Continuous quality improvement (CQI)
Continuous quality improvement (CQI) is a systematic assessment using information from evaluation to inform future program planning, implementation, and outcomes (Step 9—Continuous Quality Improvement).
Culture can be thought of as a population’s values, norms, beliefs, religion, customs, rituals, language, and ethnicity/race (Step 4—Fit).
Desired Outcomes
Desired outcomes are specific changes in behaviors and determinants, such as knowledge, that are expected as a result of a program. Well-written desired outcomes are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based (SMART). Desired outcomes are also sometimes called objectives (Step 2—Goals and Desired Outcomes). If the behavior or determinant is measured to be at a desirable point before the start of the program, then a desired outcome could be to maintain that level.
Dosage is how much of the program a participant receives. Depending on the program, dosage can be the amount of time, number of sessions, or number of activities in which an individual participates (Step 6—Plan and Step 7—Process Evaluation).
Evidence based public health (EBPH)
Evidence-based public health (EBPH) approaches for community emergency preparedness (CEP) are interventions, like the Resilient Older Adults in Disasters—Mentored and Prepared (ROAD-MAP) program, that use the best available research evidence, practitioner expertise, and other available resources. EBPH approaches include consideration of the characteristics, needs, and values of the target community (Step 3—Best Practices).
Fidelity is the faithfulness with which a program is implemented. This includes implementing a program without removing parts essential to the program’s effectiveness (i.e., core components). This is also sometimes called compliance, integrity, or adherence (Step 3—Best Practices, Step 4—Fit, Step 5—Capacities, and Step 7—Process Evaluation).
Fit is the overall compatibility between a program and the target population, the organization, and the target community (Step 4—Fit).
Goal is the overarching big picture of what an organization wants to achieve regarding improving the lives of its target population. Goals reflect the anticipated impact in the future (Step 2—Goals and Desired Outcomes).
Logic models
Logic models are diagrams that link a goal, behaviors directly related to it, factors that influence those behaviors, intervention activities designed to change those factors, and inputs needed to conduct intervention activities (Step 2—Goals and Desired Outcomes).
Measures are tools used to collect data in a program evaluation. They may consist of individual questions or scales on a survey designed to obtain information about the behavior and related factors being examined. (Step 8—Outcome Evaluation).
Needs and resources assessment
Needs and resources assessment is a systematic way to identify current conditions underlying the potential need for a program or intervention and to identify related community resources (Step 1—Needs and Resources Assessment).
Outcome evaluation
Outcome evaluation is an activity to examine whether a program caused an improvement among its participants on specific areas of interest (e.g., an increase in the number of participants reporting storing an emergency supply kit) and by how much (Step 8—Outcome Evaluation and Step 9—Continuous Quality Improvement [CQI]).
Partnership and collaboration capacities
Partnership and collaboration capacities refer to connections with other community partners who can help implement and support the program (Step 5—Capacities).
Priority population
Priority population is the group, often referred to as a target population, determined to be in most need of a CEP program (Step 1—Needs and Resources Assessment, Step 2—Goals and Desired Outcomes, Step 3—Best Practices, and Step 4—Fit).
Process evaluation
Process evaluation assesses the degree to which a program is implemented as planned. It includes monitoring the program activities, who participated, and how often, as well as the strengths and weaknesses (quality) of the implementation (Step 6—Plan, Step 7—Process Evaluation, and Step 9—Continuous Quality Improvement [CQI]).
Readiness refers to the degree to which a community or agency is able to take action on an issue—i.e., put programming into place. Readiness can range from none at all (e.g., the group has not even started thinking about addressing an issue) to already having successful programs in place (Step 4—Fit).
Scale is a grouping of individual survey questions that address a single topic. Individual questions are often averaged together and interpreted as a group (Step 8—Outcome Evaluation).
Staff and volunteer capacities
Staff and volunteer capacities refer to staff and/or volunteers with appropriate credentials, training, experience, and commitment to the program (Step 5—Capacities).
Stakeholders are the individuals and organizations that have an interest in a program’s delivery and results. Stakeholders may include participants, their families, program staff and volunteers, funders, board members, and community organizations. (GTO Step 4—Fit)
Sustainability refers to the capacity to continue a program after initial funding has ended (Step 10—Sustainability).
Tool refers to the various worksheets and templates associated with each GTO step that prompt practitioners to make and record decisions (Steps 1–10).
Work plan
Work plan is the organized, formal documentation of components and tasks necessary to implement a program, broken down by resources, personnel, delivery dates, and accomplishments; the work plan specifies who will do what, when, where, and how (Step 6—Plan).


Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
community emergency preparedness
California Health Interview Survey
UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters
continuous quality improvement
evidence-based public health
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Getting To Outcomes
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
local health department
memorandum of understanding
not applicable
Public Health Response to Emergent Threats Survey
Resilient Older Adults in Disasters—Mentored and Prepared
specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based
University of California, Los Angeles