Needs Assessment


PolicyWorks, Ltd. has conducted statewide needs assessments in the areas of substance abuse and violence prevention, school safety, school suspension and expulsion policies, school attendance policies, crime and safety issues affecting older Virginians, and child welfare, including adoption and independent living services. 


Needs assessments begin with a careful determination of client information needs and then employ a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analyses methods designed to answer key questions.  Depending on the project, needs assessments typically involve a combination of document content analyses, secondary analyses of data, in-person and telephone interviews, surveys using the latest web-based technologies, as well as reviews of current, relevant research and practice literature.


Program Evaluation


Independent program evaluations are designed to produce objective evidence on program performance.  Critical to a rigorous evaluation is the development, during the evaluation planning phase, of a logic model that clarifies the expected relationships between program activities, processes, and outcomes and becomes the operational “framework” for the program and its evaluation.   PolicyWorks, Ltd. excels in facilitating this process with clients who achieve heightened clarity and focus that strengthens program management.


We provide expertise in all phases of program evaluation including reviews of current research and practice literature, study design, implementation of single- and multi-site evaluations, data collection and management technologies, and synthesis of findings, including policy and practice implications.   We have served as the independent, external evaluator for federally-funded, multi-year demonstration projects in the areas of substance abuse prevention, school safety, delinquency prevention, child welfare (adoption, foster care, and independent living), and healthy marriage.  


We also offer practical technical assistance to organizations in establishing their own quality assurance and internal evaluation systems designed to enhance performance management. 


Policy Analysis and Development


Methods of policy analysis are used to improve understanding of current public policy issues, to identify and assess potential policy options, to develop clear, defensible positions, and to inform the formulation of policy.  Serving as an objective source of information, independent of interest groups and partisan agendas, we have provided in-depth analyses for lawmakers, governing boards, academia, and advocacy organizations. 




We have developed an extensive array of publications for numerous clients.  Most publications have been designed to inform and strengthen front-line professional practices in the fields of education, child welfare, criminal justice, and prevention. 


See Publications for a more detailed listing of works.




In addition to providing high quality evaluation research, PolicyWorks, Ltd. also develops highly customized, pedagogically sound training curricula to achieve learning and competency outcomes specified by the sponsoring agency or organization.  Our curriculum development process involves assessment of learning and learner needs, specification of desired learning outcomes, development of content that reflects best-available research and practice knowledge, and selection of pedagogically sound instructional approaches.  Increasingly, curricula are being delivered online and PolicyWorks, Ltd. has developed effective strategies for productive collaboration with Web-based instructional systems. 

See Curricula for a more detailed listing of works. 





PolicyWorks, Ltd.

P.O. Box 367

Petersburg, VA 23804

Phone: 804-469-9500

Fax: 804-469-9505




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