To track progress toward statewide saturation, the OMI team developed a management information system to collect and maintain data on workshops and workshop participants. The OMI uses this information to monitor progress throughout its service delivery system, and to update the RAG on the foregoing years activities. Although not designed for research purposes, the data also shed light on such questions as which among the education, faith, social services, corrections, and health sectors are most active, what proportion of the states population has participated in a workshop, the geographic distribution of workshop activity, and how many workshops volunteers tend to lead.
- Tracking Workshop Productivity. The OMI uses a web-based management information system to record and maintain information about trained workshop leaders and the workshops they conduct. Workshop leaders are asked to enter (or mail in to PSI) information about workshops they plan to conduct or have completed, such as the date, location, and number of participants who complete the workshop. Because most workshop leaders are volunteers, reporting on services can present special challenges. The OMI contracts with OSUBSR to conduct an annual telephone survey of workshop leaders to verify this information and inquire about areas in which leaders may need additional resources or assistance.
- Collecting Information about OMI Workshop Participants. Obtaining reliable information on OMI workshop participants has been more difficult. In 2003, the OMI developed a short form, to be completed by participants, requesting data on gender, age, education, income, race/ethnicity, and relationship status; information on how they heard about the workshop; and if relevant, the nature of any prior experience with marriage and relationship education. Workshop leaders are not required to ask participants to complete the forms, but are encouraged to do so. Reporting has been inconsistent within and across sectors, resulting in information that is unlikely to be representative of the population of OMI workshop participants. Some workshop leaders suggest that nonresponse may be connected to participants concerns about confidentiality. However, despite asking that participants report only a nickname rather than full identifying information, nonresponse remains high.