Entering its sixth year of operation, the South Valley Economic Development Center (SVEDC) has served over 900 entrepreneurs in various capacities, such as environmental health trainings, providing low-cost rental space, and offering guidance on business development. Established to meet the economic needs of the South Valley of Bernalillo County, New Mexico, the SVEDC originated out of community organizing efforts around economic development, land use, and infrastructure planning. Through these original efforts, the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation (RGCDC), with the help of other local groups, assessed the local economic needs and determined that business incubation program was the appropriate response to those needs. In addition to coming up with the idea, the RGCDC and other groups successfully lobbied for local government support for the program and raised significant funds to finance the construction of a building to house the program. After these first five years, it seems an appropriate time to evaluate the programs progress so far in accomplishing its goals. Therefore, the principal contribution of this project was to create an evaluation framework for RGCDC for use in ongoing program evaluation. More specifically, to contribute to internal evaluation and planning, the defining purposes of this project were to: (1) Develop an incubator-wide evaluation framework to be used by the RGCDC to assess the SVEDC's development. (2) Implement early stages of the evaluation framework to lay the groundwork for future ongoing data collection and evaluation. (3) Provide process recommendations based on the findings of the initial evaluation. (4) Present next steps for how to use this document for future program evaluations. In order to develop and implement the evaluation framework, the evaluator consulted with different SVEDC stakeholders, including original founding members of the center, current staff and administration, current program participants, and former program participants.
Latina o planning, South Valley Economic Development Center, Business incubation program, Rio Grande Community Development Corporation, Theory of change model, Program evaluation model
McKenna de Mejia, M.. "Local Economic Development Program Planning: An Evaluation Toolkit for the South Valley Economic Development Center." (2012). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/arch_sp/5