Various evaluation methods can be used to study, assess, and possible mitigate the impact of drug abuse on children and families. The two basic types of evaluation research are formative and summative evaluation. Formative evaluation involves assessing the program activities to monitor if they are meeting the goals and objectives of the selected program. The main purpose of this type of evaluation is to recognize deficiencies in the program and fix them for the program to run successfully. Formative evaluation can be regarded as a building process that consistently incorporates new materials, and skills with the aim of creating a whole program.
Formative evaluation can be used to determine the impact that drug abuse has on children and their families. First, this type of evaluation will define the problem and its scope. Secondly, it will provide answers to where the problem is. Thirdly, formative evaluation will suggest a possible program or technology that can be used to address the problem of drug abuse and lastly it will assess how effectively the program was delivered.
On the other hand, summative evaluation is the process of determining the success of a program at the end of the program activities, the main focus being on the outcome of the program. Observations, questionnaires, interviews, testing, and surveying are the most common methods used in summative evaluation.
For our case, summative evaluation can be used to determine whether the evaluation strategies are feasible, the effectiveness of the program that will be used to assess and curb the impact of drug abuse on children as well as the net impact of the program on the affected children. The net impact can be measured using econometric methods that will determine the cost effectiveness of the program selected. Qualitative methods can also be used to provide a summary of the intended and unintended impacts of the selected program.