A combined impact-process evaluation of a program promoting active transport to school: Understanding the factors that shaped program effectiveness Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • This mixed methods study was a comprehensive impact-process evaluation of the Ride2School program in metropolitan and regional areas in Victoria, Australia. The program aimed to promote transport to school for primary school children. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected at baseline and followup from two primary schools involved in the pilot phase of the program and two matched comparison schools, and a further 13 primary schools that participated in the implementation phase of the program. Classroom surveys, structured and unstructured observations, and interviews with Ride2School program staff were used to evaluate the pilot program. For the 13 schools in the second phase of the program, parents and students completed questionnaires at baseline (N = 889) and followup (N = 761). Based on the quantitative data, there was little evidence of an overall increase in active transport to school across participating schools, although impacts varied among individual schools. Qualitative data in the form of observations, interviews, and focus group discussions with students, school staff, and program staff provided insight into the reasons for variable program impacts. This paper highlights the benefits of undertaking a mixed methods approach to evaluating active transport to school programs that enables both measurement and understanding of program impacts.

publication date

  • 2013