SNAP-Ed Priority Outcome Indicators

Priority indicators can be identified by looking for the * symbol.


Four Core Indicators

All states are strongly encouraged to measure the following four core indicators of changes in the medium-term components of the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework: MT1, MT2, MT3, and MT5. The first three are indicators of behavioral changes in SNAP-Ed participants in direct education programs. The fourth is a multicomponent indicator of adoption and reach of nutrition PSE changes and promotion across the environmental settings where SNAP-Ed eligible populations eat, learn, live, play, shop, and work.


Two Partnerships and Coalition Indicators (measure at least one)

All states are strongly encouraged to measure at least one or both of the following indicators of partnerships and coalitions associated with short-term components of the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework. The first indicator, ST7, tracks active partnerships in SNAP-Ed qualified sites or organizations that regularly meet, exchange information, and identify and implement mutually reinforcing activities that will contribute to adoption of one or more organizational changes, policies, or other environmental supports. The second indicator, ST8, identifies changes in multi-sector partnerships representing diverse sectors of influence or industries at the local (e.g., community, district, parish, city, town, county, or borough), state, territorial, or tribal levels. The community may be defined by geographic, demographic, or civic or political boundaries. ST8 is suitable for assessing the strength of the State Nutrition Action Council (SNAC) or other nutrition, food systems, and obesity prevention coalitions.


Population Results Indicator (measure, if possible)

All states are strongly encouraged to measure the Fruits and Vegetables indicator, R2, in the Population Results section of the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework. Population Results indicators are markers of the low-income population’s achievement of recommendations put forth in the current Dietary Guidelines for American and Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and their associated health and well-being. Population-level indicators measure changes over time in the behaviors that promote positive health outcomes. R2 measures low-income people (within 185% of the federal poverty level) that ate fruits one or more times per day and vegetables one or more times per day.


Using the Interpretive Guide: Making the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework Work for You

Step 1: Reflect on your State SNAP-Ed Plan goals and objectives and state or local needs assessment results.
Key questions:

  • What are the top priority interventions in your state or local area?
  • What do you hope to accomplish for the populations or communities you are serving?
  • Where are there gaps in services, and which populations are unserved or under-served?
Step 2: Review the framework diagram to identify which indicators overlap with your goals and objectives.
Key questions:

  • Does your state or local project already assess these indicators?
  • Are your evaluation indicators in a different structure or format?
Step 3: Familiarize yourself with the terms used in the glossary in Appendix A to understand the language of the framework.
Step 4: Develop a set of criteria for selecting indicators for your state or local project.
Key questions:

  • Which indicators will be most useful for continuous program improvement?
  • Which are most useful for reporting results to funders and stakeholders at the federal, state, and local levels?
  • Which indicators are achievable and relevant in the current SNAP-Ed period of performance?
  • Which indicators are aspirational over time?
  • Which indicators are priorities for the USDA Food and Nutrition Service?1 Your regional office? Your state?
  • Are there indicators that apply across geographies (e.g., rural, frontier, urban), linguistic and cultural contexts, and SNAP-Ed Implementing Agency types?
  • Which indicators entail directly engaging program participants or the surrounding community?
Step 5: Choose one or more indicators for your monitoring and evaluation plan.
Key questions:

  • Which indicators will fit in your agency’s existing evaluation plan? Which indicators will require updating or streamlining your evaluation plan?
  • Do you have a mixture of indicators that remain in the same level (e.g., Environmental Settings) to ensure that progression within that level is appropriately tracked over time? The readiness & capacity (short-term), changes (medium-term), and effectiveness & maintenance (long-term) indicators should be related to each other through time.
  • Have you selected at least one indicator for change at the Individual level, and at least one indicator at the Environmental Settings and/or Sectors of Influence levels of the framework?
Step 6: Study the indicator interpretive guide write-ups for your selected indicators.
Key questions:

  • What is the benefit of the indicator?
  • Which outcome measures require new data collection?
  • Which ones use existing or secondary data sets?
Step 7: Select appropriate outcome measures for each indicator.
Key questions:

  • Which outcome measures are appropriate for the staff and resources you have available for data collection, analysis, and reporting
  • Which indicators will have the least burden on program participants and protect their rights and welfare?
Step 8: Communicate your indicators and outcome measures to senior management and other stakeholders, and where applicable, sub-grantees or local providers.
Key questions:

  • What expectations will your senior management team have?
  • What expectations will you have of your local providers?
  • What challenges or barriers do you anticipate from local providers, including front-line personnel and their communities?
  • Will your evaluation provide relevant information in a timely manner to your program’s stakeholders?
Step 9: Implement your training and technical assistance plans.
Key questions:

  • What is your staff readiness for measuring PSEs and comprehensive obesity prevention interventions?
  • What types of training and technical assistance (T&TA) will be necessary for using different indicators and evaluation approaches?
  • Are there existing T&TA tools or methods from other states or agencies you can use?

An Example of Using the Interpretive Guide is also provided.