Section 2: Describing the Intervention

This section provides steps on how to create an intervention description and logic model. A comprehensive intervention description and logic model can help ensure that you and your partners have a shared understanding of the intervention and a "map" that focuses the evaluation on the intervention inputs, activities, outputs, and intended outcomes.

Step 1: Describe Your Pedestrian Safety Intervention

The description of your pedestrian safety intervention should include:

Intervention Goals and Objectives

Identifying and articulating your pedestrian safety intervention’s goals and objectives early in the evaluation planning process can ensure that you and your evaluation partners have a clear understanding of what you are evaluating.

Begin by having partners clarify what they understand the intervention is to achieve in their own words. Engaging partners in this manner can allow multiple perspectives to be integrated into the description, and also ensure that the evaluation plan and eventual findings will be useful and applicable to your partners.

Consider the following questions to engage your evaluation partners:

  1. What are the intervention goals and objectives?
  2. Are these goals and objectives timely?
  3. Who will be interested in the goals and objectives being achieved?
  4. What evaluation resources are needed/ available to assess these goals and objectives?
  5. How can the evaluation take into consideration the historical, political, and environmental contexts influencing these goals and objectives?


Goals are driven by the ultimate vision of a successful intervention when all conditions are optimal. They describe the long-term, desired condition once the intervention is complete.

Goals are generally:

  • Broad
  • General intentions
  • Abstract
  • Intangible
  • May be difficult to measure

In your evaluation plan, your goals should include:

  1. Your population of interest and relevant subpopulations; AND
  2. Your desired intervention impact; OR
  3. Your outcomes intended to be achieved.

The following are a few examples of sources of pedestrian safety goals that can be useful to you and your evaluation partners.

View the Resource Table


Objectives should be clear and concise statements that convey the definition of “success” for the intervention to everyone involved. Objectives should be measured against pre-established and data-driven benchmarks (e.g., data from NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System) set by your team (Data collection and analysis are discussed further in Sections 4 and 5).

The objectives should be created using the SMART objective framework outlined below.


A specific objective will identify the setting and activity the caused the desired change. Additionally, it will indicate how the change was implemented and clearly demonstrate what was done to facilitate the impact.


A measurable objective requires a quantifiable activity that resulted in the desired change. It implies that baseline data is required so that result can reflect the positive and/or negative impact of the proposed intervention.


An achievable objective is feasible and considers the availability of resources, the scope of the intervention, and is attainable within a bounded timeframe.


A relevant objective relates to the goals and reflects program activities appropriately. The evaluation objective has an overall effect on the desired change.

Time Bound

Identifies when the objective will be accomplished using a specific, reasonable timeframe.

The SMART objective framework can be applied to objectives associated with process evaluation, impact evaluation and outcome evaluation that will guide and inform the evaluation plan.

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Tip for Success

Assess the effectiveness of a pedestrian program by involving procedures that are useful, feasible, ethical, and accurate. Evaluating the program can demonstrate to stakeholders how effective the program is. The program can be then replicated in other areas with more confidence.

Sharing the drafted program description with the implementing agencies of the interventions maintains stakeholder engagement and ensures a mutual understanding of the intervention and evaluation focus. Engineers, educators, planners, and enforcement officials all play a role in identifying and implementing effective safety improvements. Representatives from each key implementing organization should provide input and insight to the goals and objectives being considered in the evaluation. Collaborating with partners in the developmental stages will ensure that multiple perspectives are captured and the evaluation design is comprehensive

Align intervention efforts with the overall goals of your agency (and other partner agencies when possible) to keep the evaluation focused and useful. The goals and objectives should align with other strategic plans such as the State Highway Safety Strategic Plan. A well-crafted PSAP or intervention description will have the goals and objectives clearly outlined.

Populations of Interest

Populations of interest can include pedestrian sociodemographic groups (e.g., older pedestrians 55+ years, children aged 5-9 years, individuals living below the federal poverty level) and residents or commuters in a specific location (e.g., street, corridor, campus, neighborhood, county). If populations of interest are not clearly specified in the intervention’s implementation plan or related documents, in the evaluation plan, you should specify the sociodemographic group(s) and location(s) of the intervention to guide data collection methods (Section 4) and confirm the unit of analysis (Section 5).

Tailoring your evaluation plan to your priority population or subpopulations can increase confidence that your results are generalizable to these and other similar populations.

When confirming the priority populations and subpopulations of interest for your evaluation, consider the following questions:

  • What are the key characteristics of the population and subpopulations?
  • What are the rates of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in the population and subpopulations?
  • What factors affect pedestrian safety in your population and subpopulations and what is their independent or collective impact (good and bad)?
  • What related policies, practices, services, facilities, or educational and promotional efforts are currently being provided? Does this intervention complement or duplicate any of these?
  • Does the intervention address pedestrian safety priorities and needs identified by the population of interest?
  • What are national, state, and local policy priorities for pedestrian safety and how do these correspond to your population or subpopulations?

The table below provides some example characteristics to include in your population profile:

View the Resource Table

Identify Risk and Protective Factors

Identifying the risk and protective factors from the intervention planning phase will focus the evaluation on known safety problems and allow the evaluation team to select evaluation designs, methods, and analysis approaches that will best account for risks and protective factors.

Refer to the intervention plan to identify risk and protective factors. Typically, these are grouped into two categories: personal factors and environmental factors. These two categories take a multi-level approach to understanding what will have a positive or negative influence on pedestrian safety in your population of interest.

The table below provides examples of common personal and environmental risk and protective factors that can be applied to evaluations of pedestrian safety interventions.

View the Resource Table
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Tools and Resources

Section 2. Understanding Risk and Protective Factors: Their Use in Selecting Potential Targets and Promising Strategies for Intervention
A section of a larger online tool aimed to support public health professional conduct needs assessment and design health interventions.

Next: Continue to Step 2
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