Aurora Research Institute (ARI) is an affiliate of Aurora Mental Health Center, serving the Denver area, along with national and international partners by providing a wide range of program evaluation services. ARI assists judicial enforcement agencies, school districts and colleges, non-profit agencies, and public health agencies, utilizing evidence-based practices.
ARI evaluation frameworks take into account cultural, ethnic, gender and social backgrounds, and adhere to the American Evaluation Association’s Guiding Principles. Institute staff are trained in program evaluation, research design, quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods, following ideas of evaluative thinking by encouraging clarity in goals and purposes, intentional, accountable, systematic data collection and analyses, and emphasizing rigorous and critical thinking.
ARI Provides the following Services:
Grant Writing Assistance
ARI staff has experience and success in writing statements of need and evaluation sections for most local, state, and Federal granting agencies.
This approach helps programs understand if they are ready to be evaluated, which is important to know, as forcing evaluation can be counterproductive.
This assessment will help determine what type of program is needed and who the program would serve. It is usually set before a program is started, or when a transition may make sense.
Evaluation Plans, Logic Models, Theory of Change, etc.
This set of tools guarantees there is agreement among stakeholders about what a program is doing, and how it is accomplishing goals, while also creating agreement about how to move forward.
Monitoring and Evaluation
ARI has expertise in the implementation of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) to help improve performance by monitoring outputs, outcomes, and impact in a meaningful framework.
This approach produces a fair comparison of the total costs of a program, which is typically monetary, with its benefits, effectiveness, and other criteria, enabling the calculation of net cost or benefit associated with the program.
Data Collection and Analysis
Using Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods
ARI staff are expert practitioners and teachers in all three methodologies, and use state-of-the-art tools to design, collect, and analyze the data in the best possible way.
Data Visualization and Reporting
Perhaps one of the best ways to make the evaluation data useful to programs and stakeholders is by generating reports and visualizations that are meaningful/easy to understand. ARI has experience in both areas with access to multiple tools, generating reports and visualizations in a way that will be meaningful to different stakeholders. Reports can be produced in technical and/or non-technical formats.