Support and Training for the Evaluation of Programs (STEPs)

Mission: To provide participatory, utilization-focused program evaluation to programs serving children, youth, and families in poverty.

University of Nebraska at Omaha, Grace Abbott School of Social Work


"I look forward to meetings with the STEPs program evaluation team! - it's always the pick-me-up meeting of the week!" ~Treva Haugaard, Executive Director, GOALS Center.

"The amount of time and effort does not go unnoticed. Thanks for helping our coaches and graduates be successful for years to come." ~Tiff Clifton, Coach, Creighton Financial Success Program.

"The evaluators did exactly what we asked. We then discovered how we wanted to change what we evaluated. We look forward to working with the evaluators in this realm." ~Nancy Liebermann, Executive Director, Phoenix Academy



We have a strong commitment and passion to help nonprofit organizations meet their mission. Through program evaluation, we partner with organizations to inform them about program delivery and outcomes, and to "tell the story" of what they do to stakeholders.

Our approach to program evaluation is participatory and utilization-focused. We bring the best of worlds together through partnering university resources with community organizations to create better systems of care for children, youth, and families in poverty. Meet our staff, learn how a typical program evaluation unfolds, and consider our related presentations and publications.

Contact us to schedule a free in-person consultation.

-- Jeanette (Jeanette Harder, PhD, Professor/STEPs Project Director) (phone: 402-554-2893 email: jharder[at]unomaha[dot]edu)



Current Projects




Avenue Scholars Foundation

"Ensure careers for students of hope and need through education and supportive relationships."

August 2012-

"Better Together" with Heartland Family Service (Nebraska Families Collaborative) (U.S. ACYF discretionary grant, 3 year)

(On-site substance abuse treatment for child welfare involved families)

September 2013-

Children's Scholarship Fund of Omaha

"Ensure that all families can choose the best educational setting for their children" ...including private or parochial elementary education.
    May 2014-  

Civic Participation Grant, University of Nebraska at Omaha


December 2014-

Financial Success Program (Financial Hope Collaborative at Creighton University; United Way of the Midlands)

Financial education program to create behavior change for low income single mothers.

October 2013-

GOALS Center

"To address absenteeism and at-risk behavior through encouragement of coordinated efforts to improve student attendance and learning."

November 2013-

Nebraska CASA Association

"Recruit and train volunteers who speak in court for the safety and well-being of abused and neglected children."

August 2011-

Nebraska Children's Home Society

"Provide safe and loving care to children of all ages"

November 2013-

Phoenix Academy

"Educate and inspire students with learning differences to realize their full academic potential and become successful in school and in life."

September 2013-

SummerWorks (UNO)

"A nine-week summer employment academy designed for urban high school youth 15-18 years old who desire to earn an income through summer employment while learning about the world of work and gaining skills through their work experience."
April 2013-

Recently Completed Projects

Building Bright Futures

"Creating educational excellence and equity" January - June 2014

Child abuse prevention in the faith community:

 Community-based research models for the classroom: