Piloting your program will allow you to test all aspects of your intervention. If you are adapting an existing program, a pilot can help you tailor the program to the particular circumstances of your target population or context, and test both the process and its effectiveness in the new setting.
Piloting provides an opportunity to identify and prepare for the challenges of evaluating your program. Ultimately, it will enhance the scientific rigor and value of the full-scale evaluation.
Pilot testing can help assess:
- The feasibility and acceptability of the program;
- The feasibility and acceptability of the design and procedures;
- Appropriate indicators and criteria for success;
- The appropriateness and effectiveness of data collection tools and procedures.
To pilot your program, select a single site or draw a sample of your intended Target audience and implement your program from beginning to end. The size of your pilot sample will depend on the size and scope of your program. In general, a pilot sample size between 25-50 participants should be sufficient for moderately sized programs.
Once the pilot-testing has been concluded, you will be able to make adjustments to your program design and may become aware of certain challenges and limitations. The pilot phase allows you to conduct a trial run without unnecessarily using up your resources.