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Understanding the Impact of SART Work: Why Assessment Matters

Research on successful Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) demonstrates that the most effective teams incorporate at least some elements of evaluation and assessment of their work. There are many tools available for the Sexual Assault Response Team to assess their work. Here at SVJI, we routinely talk through issues with assessing the quality of our response, our work, and the experiences of victims/survivors within our systems. We have a whole toolkit on the subject, because assessment within SARTs is that important!

We’ve also previously discussed the 3 Phases of Systems Change, and the third phase is all about assessment. 1/3 of the whole process focuses on assessment as a tool to increase the effectiveness of our work as SART leaders and team members. Without clear understandings of the impact our changes, adjustments, and new policies have, we can’t really know if our work did what we set out to do. That’s why it is crucial to intentionally spend time, as a team, asking if our work and changes had unintended impacts in addition to the intended positive effects.

For the remainder of this month, we’re going to walk through some of the paths you and your team can take to be able to answer the critical question, “What impact has our work had on the response and victim/survivor experience?”

Do you have experience with the importance of assessing your team’s work? What does evaluation mean to you? Leave your thoughts in the comments!