Evaluation of Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) and COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery

National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD)

Project Years: 2022-2023

Most syringe service programs (SSPs) continued to provide direct services to people who use drugs throughout the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic, functioning as a crucial lifeline for SSP participants in uncertain times. COVID-19 vaccine uptake in the US is impacted by race, education, and socioeconomic status, with groups that have historically been mistreated by the healthcare system being less likely to be vaccinated. SSP participants often have longstanding and trusting relationships with their SSPs and SSP program staff; as such, the CDC funded the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and AIDS United to administer grants to SSPs to focus on COVID, hepatitis A and B, and influenza vaccine delivery to people who use drugs. 

Facente Consulting was selected to evaluate the 3-tiered, multi-million dollar SSP-based vaccination project. As program evaluators, Facente Consulting designed a participatory process that assessed each grantee’s capacity for data collection, balancing the needs to demonstrate robust program outcomes while avoiding burdening grantees with unnecessary data collection. By the end of the project, Facente Consulting will have produced five mixed-methods evaluation reports, having collected and analyzed quantitative data from 58 programs, while providing nuanced context through qualitative interviews and focus groups with grantmakers and grantees.