This report presents the methodology and findings of the process evaluation of the Federal Office for Victims of Crime's (OVC's) HOPE II (Helping Outreach Programs to Expand) initiative, which provided financial and technical assistance to faith-based and community organizations (FBCO's) that offer services to crime victims in urban, high-crime areas.
The process evaluation found that the grant specifications of a 10-month timeline and the modest level of funding ($50,000 to each participating FBCO) put challenging constraints on a program's building capacity, particularly for small, inexperienced organizations with modest operational capacity. Due to operational issues at the intermediary organization (the Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center) and an inconsistent structure for technical assistance through the use of various consultants (site mentors), the nine subgrantees involved in the process evaluation's case studies did not consistently receive support during the implementation of HOPE II activities. The reimbursement model for funding disbursement was not consistently executed in a timely fashion, causing several subgrantees to use personal funds temporarily during portions of the grant period. The training and technical assistance provided by the Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center (MCVRC) were not effectively structured for subgrantees. Following the initial training by MCVRC, subgrantees were not clear on the expectations for ongoing technical assistance and the nature of their relationship with the site mentor. Despite the inefficiencies and hardships that resulted from the grant process, however, it is possible that the grant program contributed to an increase in the volunteer and collaborative capacity of the FBCO grantees, but this will not be known until the outcome evaluation is completed in the spring of 2008. Nine preliminary recommendations on program design are offered based on the findings of the process evaluation. 12 exhibits and appended evaluation methodology, request for proposals for soliciting intermediaries and subgrantees, subgrantee application review form, subgrantee training conference materials, and site-visit protocols
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For the summary report see NCJ-224986 and for the outcomes evaluation of Hope II, see NCJ-224988.