GERO 450: Program Evaluation in Gerontology

For further assistance with your assignment, ask at the Belzberg Library Reference Desk or contact Nina Smart, Liaison Librarian for Gerontology (778.782.5043 (Tuesdays and Thursdays) / nsmart@sfu.caMonday to Thursday .


Course description:

Programs are designed for older adults to meet a variety of goals that include physical and mental health maintenance and prevention of functional decline, social connectedness, and skill development, among many others. This course will examine approaches to health and social program planning and evaluation. It will span the earliest identification of program need and program conceptualization, through to assessing program implementation and impact. Students will conduct in-depth investigations of issues in aging warranting program responses, along with critical analysis of programs offered at the international, national, regional or local level.

Note: for more information and required readings, see GERO 450 Course Outline and  Canvas.  If there are discrepancies between  information listed on this page and that in Canvas or instructor handouts, please refer to the latter.]

Assignment 1: Program Plan

The grant writer's handbook: how to write a research proposal and succeed [print] 
Budget management, writing objectives, and evaluations.

Proposal planning & writing [online
Logic models, examples of sustainability, evaluations.

Successful grant writing: strategies for health and human service professionals [online and print
Budget preparation, writing objectives and aims, sample timeline/budget sheet/flow charts

Winning Grants Step by Step: The Complete Workbook for Planning, Developing and Writing Successful Proposals [online
List of figures/samples/ worksheets, goals, objectives, budget organization

Research Commons: Grants and Funding
Includes useful websites, other books and more information

Assignment 2. Evaluation Plan and Pilot Analyses

Books and sites

  • Encyclopedia of evaluation [online]
  • Evaluating Public and Community Health Programs [online]
  • Evaluation Flash Cards (Otto Bremer Trust)
  • Evaluation of health promotion, health education, and disease prevention [online]   
  • Evaluation in health promotion: Principles and perspectives [online]
  • Evaluation theory, models, and applications [online]
  • Program evaluation: methods and case studies [print]
  • Practical program evaluation: assessing and improving planning, implementation, and effectiveness [online]
  • Theory in a nutshell : a practical guide to health promotion theories [print]

Search the SFU catalogue under Subjects such as:

Journal articles

For finding published research, start with these indexes, available to SFU researchers:

The major social gerontology database. Sample terms: Research techniques; Program Descriptions; Program evaluations; Outcomes

CINAHL Complete 
Nursing and allied health. Sample term: Program Evaluation
Hint: You can Limit results by Age Group, i.e. Aged (65 yrs & older).

The major medical research database.

Hint: You can Limit results by Age Group, i.e. Aged (65 yrs & older).

The major database for psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines. Sample term: Program evaluation. 
Hint: You can Limit results by Age Group, i.e. Aged (65 yrs & older).
For new researchers, see their Quick Reference Guide

Sport Discus
Sample subject headings: Older people; Health promotion (combined search: older people AND health promotion); Physical fitness for older people; Exercise  for older people; Aging; Elderly; Older people; Evaluation

For other useful databases, see Databases in Gerontology
For example, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, which features systematic reviews of methodological studies.

See also the SFU guide Canadian Health Care Policy.

Grey literature

"Grey literature is literature that usually isn’t published commercially, including publications such as position papers, technical reports, conference proceedings, institutional documents, theses, and consultant reports. Increasingly, the web is used by government bodies, organizations and scholars to provide access to documents that might never receive commercial distribution." 


Canada Commons.
Canadian public policy documents from government and nonprofit organizations as well as think tanks

Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) 
organization that provides essential information including statistics on Canada’s health system and the health of Canadians

Community Health Online Digital Archive Research Resource (CHODARR)
"Publicly accessible digital archive of research materials related to health and social welfare, with an emphasis on housing, gender, aboriginal issues, HIV and mental health."

Faces of Aging
Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) Research on the aging of the Canada's population

Health Evidence (McMaster)
Database for systematic reviews on public health issues including aging and gerontology topics

National Institute on Aging (NIH)
American Medical research centre which provides access to online resources for health information and gerontology research

Universities often have institutional repositories.  An example is SFU Library's Institutional Repository, Summit.  See OpenDOAR, the Directory of Open Access Repositories, for other institutions' collections.

For more information, see the SFU Library guide Grey literature: What it is & how to find it

Information about tests and scales

See the section  Information about tests and scales from the GERO 301 Research Methods page

Local organizations

Examples of organizations, for finding programs

British Columbia

Local programs and services

  • BC211 (211 British Columbia) Formerly known as The Red Book, this is the directory of services for the Lower Mainland. Topic: Older Adults
  • Seniors One Stop Information  the North Shore Community Resources version of The Red Book
  • Seniors Services Society "provides local and provincial programs and services to support vulnerable older adults"

Additional online resources