Resource | Brief

Rapid Cycle Evaluation at a Glance

Project: Design Options for Home Visiting Evaluation

available downloads

Rapid cycle evaluation (RCE) approaches are attracting growing attention as a way to efficiently assess the implementation of interventions and to inform program improvement.

RCE is an umbrella term that is used and defined broadly. Many methods may be suitable to use within the RCE framework. All involve iterative data collection to answer specific questions quickly, often to support program improvement.

RCE approaches use interim data in iterative and formative ways to track progress and improve programs along the way. Programs can assess, modify, and improve interventions in real time while maintaining the integrity of the study, and then use the final findings to deliver precision approaches that improve outcomes for children and families after the study concludes.

RCE may help Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) awardees test program changes quickly and rigorously. The purpose of this brief is to introduce MIECHV awardees to RCE and its potential use in their programs.

The brief—

  • Defines RCE
  • Compares RCE with traditional research designs
  • Describes methods that can be used in RCE
  • Provides an example of how RCE can address a research question
  • Outlines steps to prepare for RCE
  • Lists potential benefits of RCE
  • Provides additional resources