Home Evaluation - OHATS Why use OHATS?
Why use OHATS?
OHATS can be used to fulfill one or multiple purpose.  Some of these are described here.

History & Knowledge Database:

Social welfare and grassroots efforts often lack resources (time, money, skills) and stable staffing to create habits and use tools to regularly examine what they do in a way that leads to useful discovery and program improvement. In most community organizations intelligence and wisdom stay and die with individuals and organizations. This hurts not only individual organizations and their stakeholders, but also entire community efforts that are sustained through collaboration and exchange. The absence of useful tools to track and reflect on progress leads many community organizations and initiatives to repeat preventable problems, struggle to identify their needs, lessons and best practices, and to share them with peers, and be unable to demonstrate neither daily impact, nor cumulative impact over years of service. These problems weaken all community work, and contribute to the extinction of organizations and community improvement initiatives.

Tacking actions and events important to a group's success can help to identify what works, what does not, and how to better reach goals and produce desired outcomes. This tracking process produces a history that staff and stakeholders can share and learn from.

Such a history of accomplishments and challenges is critical for organizations working to improve social outcomes that often are not changed for years and for which it is difficult to capture the day-to-day contributions toward those more distal outcomes.

Evaluation & Research:

Each day, groups of people in every community stimulate and implement changes to improve their surroundings and circumstances. As these organizations and programs work toward this mission, their contributions can improve themselves, other organizations and the broader community.

OHATS enables an organization to document their actions and events important to its mission in systematic method. By "systematic" we mean that data can be collected in the same way over time and across different reporters. Such systematic measurement permits the prospective, longitudinal study that is demanded by community initiatives that are dynamic (changing to best adapt to the conditions that arise) and that seek outcomes that take longer to reach (5 to 10 years) and interventions that must be sustained across generations. OHATS can help identify positive and negative trends over time and to examine results and progress.

Network Building & Collaboration:

Traditionally, documentation and exchange occurs through personal calendars, journals, newsletters, and, increasingly, on static websites and email discussion lists. By simplifying data collection and organization, OHATS increases the number of stakeholders who document actions, the number and type of lessons and best practices reported, and the rate of exchange of such information. Such intelligence can be emailed directly from OHATS data forms and reports to key stakeholders in order to raise awareness and gain support for the work of an organization. Organizations that use OHATS to display key events and accomplishments publicly can invite others to participate in and collaborate on current and upcoming events.

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