Using implementation and program theory to examine communication strategies in National Wildlife Federation's Backyard Wildlife Habitat program
Our evaluative approach used implementation theory and program theory, adapted from Weiss (1998) Weiss, C. H. 1998. Evaluation , 2nd ed., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
to examine communication processes and results for a national wildlife habitat stewardship education program. Using a mail survey of 1427 participants certified in National Wildlife Federation's (NWF) Backyard Wildlife Habitat (BWH) program and a study of participants at a BWH workshop in Michigan, we examined the communication strategies employed by NWF to assist participants. For each of the five most popular forms of assistance, participants using the assistance performed significantly more wildlife management or resource conservation activities than their counterparts. This study demonstrates that education organizations can use program and implementation theory to clearly articulate desired outcomes for learners and the relationship of these to program elements in order to evaluate programs and make recommendations for future communications strategies.