ASC prides itself on providing independent, knowledgeable, and efficient consulting services in the following areas:
Unlike basic research that is conducted to expand knowledge about a topic, applied research aims to address a real-world problem or issue. Conducting applied research requires experienced investigators who can adapt the research design according to the constraints (e.g., time, budget, data, and political) of the real world. ASC works with clients to (a) identify their information needs, (b) design and implement research methodology according to project constraints, (c) interpret results in a meaningful way, and (d) apply results through recommendations, interventions, and program development.
Program evaluation simply involves collecting information to answer questions about a program service. The specific types of program evaluation activities required are dependent, or at least they should be, on what must be known about the program/service. For example, if you want to know whether your program is changing client behaviour, then you need to do an outcome evaluation.
Since 2007, ASC has conducted needs assessments, program theory evaluations, process evaluations, outcome evaluations, and efficiency evaluations. While the context of each evaluation is unique, ASC has extensive training and experience identifying evaluation questions, developing data collection materials, collecting data, analyzing data, interpreting findings, making recommendations, and/or applying findings. Depending on the needs of the client, ASC can work completely independent, or provide capacity-building training and services that empower organizations to conducts their own evaluations in the future. It should also be noted that ASC has conducted both short-term evaluations, lasting only a few weeks, as well as long-term evaluations, lasting multiple years.
Grant writing is a complex process that involves identifying funding opportunities that (a) match your organization and program, (b) building relationships with funders, (c) writing the grant proposal, and (d) revising the proposal, if necessary. Further, a successful grant application conveys an in-depth understanding of the problem/issue being addressed, the program’s theory, how the program will be evaluated, and the core components contributing to the program’s sustainability.
ASC draws on its experience in program development, evaluation, and communication to guide clients through the entire grant-writing process. We begin by helping clients understand their program targets. From there, we help clients identify various funding opportunities applicable to their programs or research projects. Next, we work with clients to thoroughly understand their programs and communicate their ideas and intentions to a wide range of audiences. Finally, the necessary components of a grant application are developed.
Through a rich history of designing and implementing research in academic and community environments, ASC has all the tools necessary to help clients with their research projects. To begin, ASC possesses a deep understanding of both quantitative and qualitative research theory, methodology, data collection, analysis, and presentation. Therefore, ASC is not limited to one type of research methodology. For instance, if you are looking to do quantitative research that focuses on statistics, ASC is your solution. On the other hand, if you are looking to capture the experiences and narratives of participants, ASC is your solution. Finally, if you want both, the statistics and the narratives, ASC has your mixed method solution.
ASC associates have been involved in designing and conducting research since 1998. This time has involved countless hours developing, administering, and analyzing surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations, and file reviews. As a result, ASC has the expertise required to collect useful data. ASC also has experience in conducting the traditional pen-and-paper surveys and in-person interviews to more recent media such as electronic formats involving online surveys and focus groups, as well as collecting data through social media.
In terms of the scope of data collection, ASC has conducted projects requiring a small amount of data collection from a program’s clientele, to collecting data at the community, provincial, and/or national level. Perhaps ASC’s strongest asset is its capacity to identify clients’ information needs and develop and conduct an efficient data collection strategy that ensures necessary data are collected without wasting resources.
Unfortunately when it comes to analyzing quantitative data, statistical procedures are far from intuitive and easy. One solution is to take a number of statistics courses at your nearest university. Or better yet, turn to ASC, as our associates have already completed more research methodology and statistics courses than you probably care to even know exist. And more importantly, they have spent even more time outside of the classrooms putting this knowledge to work on a vast array of projects and topics. ASC can fulfill your statistical needs from basic descriptive statistics to highly complex and sophisticated inferential statistics (e.g., univariate, multivariate, and nonparametric statistics).
Qualitative data analysis involves working with non-numerical data. For example, you might want to investigate a group discussion about why an event occurred or how the event was experienced. Qualitative data are very powerful and provide insight that cannot be obtained through quantitative and statistical analyses. ASC has the expertise necessary to work with qualitative data including not only its analysis, but also its collection through various methods such as questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, and so on.
ASC works with clients to set up their projects/programs in a number of different ways. First, ASC helps clients refine and map their client engagement strategies and internal communication protocols. Through its experience in program development and evaluation, ASC utilizes a number of tools to assist clients in mapping how their programs operate within their organization. Second, ASC readily develops training resources (e.g., videos outlining ethics protocols and data management strategies) for clients. Third, ASC can develop and integrate information management systems (IMS) that tie together data collection systems, project/program databases, and reporting protocols.
Drawing on its experience in program evaluation and development, ASC works with organizations to develop new strategic plans as well as review existing strategic plans. ASC has the capacity to identify objectives, activities, and outcomes that will enable organizations to fulfill their strategic goals, while adhering to their mission and vision.
The amount of information that is available on any given topic is amazing. Unfortunately, access to literature such as academic journals is often limited, and judging the quality of the resource can be difficult. ASC is well versed at conducting thorough literature reviews. Not only does ASC have access to academic journal databases, but also to hundreds of thousands of journal articles. Perhaps most importantly, ASC possess the knowledge and experience to evaluate the quality of these published articles. It should be noted that this accessibility and ability to review material extends beyond published works, and also includes grey literature.
ASC is here to help
With its experienced, caring, and personable associates, ASC will provide expert consultation services that are uniquely tailored to your organization’s objectives and needs.
- Have you been asked to evaluate your programs and services?
- Do you have a research question, but are unsure of how to go about it?
- Do you have piles of data and are uncertain about what to do with it?
- Do you need to apply for funding for your organization?
You have come to the right place. ASC can help you with any of these questions. We will assist you in identifying your research questions, explain to you how to go about finding funds for your program, evaluating your long-term or short-term programs, analyzing your data, providing thorough reports for different audiences, and everything in between.
o learn more about what we can do for you, contact ASC! In addition to consulting, ASC also provides a series of Training Workshops and Interactive E-Training covering topics such as grant writing, program evaluation, and data collection.