Once a program is initiated on a large-scale basis, evaluation data should be collected to demonstrate its impact. Measures of cost-effectiveness (e.g., dollars spent per life saved or injury prevented) are particularly important. It is easy to tabulate the cost of a prevention program, but it is harder to document the savings from "tragedies that didn't happen." Program support tends to wane over time, especially when no group or organization has an economic interest in seeing it continued. During more difficult economic times, prevention programs are often the first to go. Without documented evidence of impact, worthy programs can wither and die.
Was this article helpful?