Research and Evaluation Services

 DMD's core services include program  evaluation, market/survey research, grant writing and project  implementation/management. However, DMD personnel possess a skills set  that is applicable to a variety of settings. Research and evaluation  skills include both qualitative and quantitative expertise that can be  applied to virtually the entire spectrum of needs. Strong verbal and  written communications skills enable DMD to not only assist clients in  research and evaluation efforts, but related planning and group  facilitation activities. In addition to the skills of its personnel, DMD  has an expansive network of contacts developed through years of  previous work as higher education administrators, and now through its  work as consultants working from coast to coast and internationally. DMD  personnel are members of the American Evaluation Association and adhere to its Guiding Principles for Evaluators and support its Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation
 

Program Evaluation

DMD has conducted numerous multi-year, comprehensive projects assessing  the impact of education, social, health and community programs on  students, schools and communities. Examples of recent or current  projects include the federally funded Safe Schools/Healthy Students  Initiative (DOEd), the 21st Century Community Learning Centers  after-school programs (DOEd) and the IDeA Networks of Biomedical  Research Excellence (NIH).
 

DMD employs a utilization-focused evaluation approach that is personal  and situational – developing a strong working relationship in which DMD  assists clients in determining the kind of evaluation they really need.  In this process, DMD keeps clients focused on the real goals and  objectives, emphasizing the identification of what they “need to know,”  not what would be “nice to know.” Utilization-focused evaluation  recognizes that what happens at the beginning of a study will determine  the eventual impact long before the final reports are written. This is  why DMD believes it is critical to be involved with a project even  during its planning stages, and stresses formative evaluation components  linked to the implementation of a project and its evaluation.
 

Market/Survey Research

DMD provides market research to industry, non-profits and higher  education, with studies ranging from customer satisfaction and market  segmentation to employee satisfaction and original topical research. DMD  works closely with clients to determine their needs in selecting the  type of medium required for an optimum return, selecting from  electronic, telephone and mail surveys, as well as key-informant  interviews and focus groups. DMD can also conduct the secondary research  of existing studies to make sure its research is at the forefront of a  topic.
 

Grant/Proposal Writing

DMD staff members have personally written grants that have been funded  for almost 14 million dollars, primarily from federal sources. In  addition, DMD has developed evaluation plans and/or assisted with other  grant proposals that have been funded for millions of dollars. With  management and evaluation experience related to federally funded  programs, DMD also has the expertise to assist in the full spectrum of  program development, including the conceptualization of the program  structure, budgeting, staffing, management, evaluation and  implementation.


Video Evaluation Documentary (VED)

A new innovative service provided by DMD and its partner company, Victus  Motion, is VED (Video Evaluation Documentary). As a supplement to the  typical evaluation tools involving key informant interviews, focus  groups, surveys and quantitative data collection and analysis, VED can  be presented in living motion to document the initiation of a project,  to record program implementation and on-going process, and to present  end-of-project findings. Each documentary includes interviews with key  actors, B-roll showing the context or setting of the documentary,  sound/music, and comprehensive credits which include client and funding  agency information. Filming, production, sound and post-production is  done professionally to allow for showings to a variety of professional  and stakeholder audiences. With PhD education/evaluation credentials, as  well as real-world documentary credits, DMD/Victus Motion may be  uniquely qualified to offer this service to the program evaluation  community.
 

The production of a documentary has multiple uses in the evaluation  world – documentaries can set the stage for future work, benchmark a  particular project, or serve as a capstone for just-completed work. In  addition to documenting an initiative or program, a VED can enhance the  impact of the message a client is trying to communicate to their various  audiences, stakeholders and funders. While qualitative in nature,  documentary productions engage audiences in ways that written reports  and PowerPoint decks cannot.
 

Following are links to VED’s produced by DMD/Victus Motion’s Dean  Schieve, the first one featuring an educational partnership involving  schools in Minnetonka, MN, and in the Awutu Mankessim region of Ghana.  This public television documentary is an example of how a VED can be  used in the early stages of a project, illustrating how the combined  audio and video components offer a vitality of action and process that  is difficult to present using only written messaging. The second VED  illustrates how the accomplishments of a project can be expressed in the  words of those who have been impacted. The link to the documentary  “Minnetonka to Ghana, Bridging an Ocean with Education” can be found at  the following website link: https://vimeo.com/117935332. The link to “Becoming a Scientist: Stories from Nebraska” can be found at: https://vimeo.com/169197651.
 

For more information on VED and how it can be used for your evaluation project, contact Dean Schieve at DMD/Victus Motion, dean@dmdprojects.com.  

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